Integrative medicine techniques, such as those found in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), are increasingly being utilized by those who treat cancer patients and those who conduct cancer research. As a part of cancer care, TCM may be administered alone or in combination with conventional therapies. Monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of treatment with TCM agents requires a validated assessment questionnaire with appropriate, relevant symptom items. The MD Anderson Symptom Inventory for traditional Chinese medicine (MDASI-TCM) is a patient-reported outcomes assessment tool designed to measure symptoms experienced by patients with cancer who opt for TCM.
The MDASI-TCM is a treatment-specific MDASI module. Along with the core MDASI’s 13 symptom items and 6 interference items, the MDASI-TCM also assesses 7 symptoms specific to Traditional Chinese Medicine approaches:
- feeling cold
- bitter taste
- palpitations (racing heartbeat)
- heat in the palms or soles of the feet
Order the MDASI-TCM
- Purpose: To assess the severity of multiple symptoms related to TCM and the impact of these symptoms on daily functioning
- Population: Patients with symptoms caused by TCM and its treatment
- Assessment areas: Severity of multiple symptoms and the impact of symptoms on daily functioning during the last 24 hours
- Method: Self-report; paper-and-pencil form or tablet PC (self-administered or via interview), or telephone-based interactive voice response (IVR) system
- Time required: Five minutes
- Scoring: Please see the MDASI User's Guide
- Reliability: Cronbach alpha reliability ranges from 0.88 to 0.91
In response to the FDA's 2009 guidance for the pharmaceutical industry on the use of PRO measures in medical product development to support labeling claims, we have prepared a MDASI User's Guide to document the development and psychometric properties of the MDASI and its modules, including the MDASI-TCM. The User Guide addresses the recommendations in the FDA guidance and establishes the MDASI's adequacy as a measure to support medical product claims.
Li ZD, Shi Q, Liu M, et al. Validation and application of a module of the MD Anderson Symptom Inventory for use with Traditional Chinese Medicine (MDASI-TCM). J Natl Cancer Inst Monographs. In press.
Every MDASI Module Contains...
All 13 MDASI core symptoms
pain, fatigue, nausea, disturbed sleep, distress, shortness of breath, difficulty remembering, lack of appetite, drowsiness, dry mouth, sadness, vomiting, numbness/tingling
All 6 MDASI interference items
general activity, mood, work, relations with others, walking, enjoyment of life
Using the MDASI-TCM, whether in practice or as an outcome measure in a clinical trial, can help TCM practitioners maximize treatment effectiveness and lessen patient suffering.
Xin Shelley Wang, M.D., M.P.H.
Professor, Symptom Research