Rotterdam Symptom Checklist
Name of Questionnaire
Rotterdam Symptom Checklist (RSC)
Cancer-specific tool to measure psychological and physical
distress in cancer patients participating in clinical research.
Validation in various cancer populations. Patients are asked to
indicate the degree to which they have been bothered by the
indicated symptoms in the past week.
JCJM de Haes, FCE van Knippenberg, JFA Pruyn, JP Neijt
Johanna C.J.M. de Haes, PhD
Department Medical Psychology
University Hospital (AMC)
1105 AZ Amsterdam
Cost & availability
Manual costs 50 Dutch guilders.
Time to complete
Number of items
30 (+ 8 on activities of daily living)
Domains & categories
Name of categories/domains
Physical symptoms, psychological symptoms, activities of daily
Scaling of items
4-point Likert-type scales (not at all, a little, quite a bit,
For each item, score ranges from 1 to 4.
|a. Test-retest/ reproducibility
|b. Internal consistency
Compared as expected with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression
Scale and the Psychosocial Adjustment to Illness Scale (study of
patients from a general cancer population who exhibitied evidence
Minimally important difference
Reported - symptoms at presentation for treatment3, palliative two-fraction vs. more
intensive 13-fraction radiotherapy for inoperable non-small cell
lung cancer and good performance status4, oral etoposide treatment for advanced
small-cell lung cancer5, comparison of
four-drug vs. less intensive two-drug chemotherapy in palliative
treatment of patients with small cell lung cancer and poor
prognosis6, CHART vs. conventional
radiotherapy in non-small cell lung cancer7, prophylactic cranial irradiation in
small cell lung cancer8, comparison of
doctors' and patients' ratings of patients' physical symptoms9
Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian,
Portuguese (2 versions), Servic, Spanish, Tjecho-Slovene
- de Haes JCJM, van
Knippenberg FCE, Neijt JP. Measuring psychological and physical
distress in cancer patients: structure and application of the
Rotterdam Symptom Checklist. Br J Cancer 1990;62:1034-8.
- Watson M, Law M, Maguire GP, et al.
Further development of a quality of life measure for cancer
patients: the Rotterdam Symptom Checklist (revised).
- Hopwood P, Stephens RJ. Symptoms at
presentation for treatment in patients with lung cancer:
implications for the evaluation of palliative treatment. The
Medical Research Council (MRC) Lung Cancer Working Party. Br J
- Macbeth FR, Bolger JJ, Hopwood P,
Bleehen NM, Cartmell J, Girling DH, Machin D, Stephens RJ, Bailey
AJ. Randomized tiral of palliative two-fraction versus more
intensive 13-fraction radiotherapy for patients with inoperable
non-small cell lung cancer and good performance status. Clin Oncol
(R Coll Radiol) 1996;8(3):167-75.
- Souhami Rl, Spiro SG, Rudd RM, Ruiz de
Elvira M, James LE, Gower NH, Lamont A, Harper PG. Five-day oral
etoposide treatment for advanced small-cell lung cancer: randomized
comparison with intravenous chemotherapy. J Natl CancereInst
- Bleehen NM, Girling DJ, Hopwood P,
Lallemand G, Machin D, Stephens RJ, Bailey AJ. Randomized trial of
four-drug vs less intensive two-drug chemotherapy in the palliative
treatment of patients with small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) and poor
prognosis. Medical Research Council Lung Cancer Working Party. Br J
- Bailey AJ, Parmar MK et al.
Patient-reported short-term and long-term physical and psychologic
symptoms: results of the continuous hyperfractionated accelerated
radiotherapy (CHART) randomized trial in non-small-cell lung
cancer. CHART Steering Committee. J Clin Oncol
- Gregor A, Cull A, Stephens RJ et al.
Prophylactic cranial irradiation is indicated following complete
response to induction therapy in small cell lung cancer: results of
a multicentre randomised trial. United Kingdom Coordinating
Committee for CAncer Research (UKCCCR) and the European
Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC). Eur J
- Stephens RJ, Hopwood P, Girling DJ,
Machin D. Randomized trials with quality of life endpoints: are
doctors' ratings of patients' physical symptoms interchangeable
with patients' self-ratings? Qual Life Res 1997;6:225-36.
Date of information