Assessment of Emotional Distress


DSC01041During my post at Morton Plant Hospital Cancer Center, we were engaged in the development of a psychometric measure to assess emotional distress in cancer patients. This research was partially funded by the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer research and the Morton Plant Hospital Foundation and the studies were supported by the Cancer Committee of the Morton Plant Cancer Institute.

The preliminary results and the first version of the Perceived Emotional Distress Inventory (PEDI) we presented at the Pan American Congress of Psychosocial and Behavioral Oncology held in New York city in October 1999. Further reports and publications of the PEDI are listed at the bottom of this post.


BookThe Perceived Emotional Distress Inventory (PEDI)  is a 15-item self-report screening scale designed to reflect the presence and severity of emotional distress. The measure assesses anxiety, anger, depression, and Hopelessness in cancer patients, making distinctions regarding the expression and suppression of angry feelings. 

In responding to each PEDI item, subjects report to what extent they had experienced each emotional distress-related symptoms (“during the past month, including today”) by rating themselves on a 4-point scale.

A Global Severity Index (GSI) is determined simply by summing the ratings for each individual items that comprise the PEDI. The total score for the inventory range from 0 to 45 points. Higher scores correspond to higher levels of perceived emotional distress. The instrument has been developed for research purposes and our intention was to make comparisons between subjects in the study sample utilizing the raw scores and treating the statistical analyses as ordinal data.

As indicated in our references listed below, the alpha reliability coefficient for the entire instrument was .91, which adds significant internal consistency and credibility for a 15-item instrument. Considering that the measure is comprised of factors with small number of items, the internal consistency of this scale, as indicated by the global alpha coefficient and item-remainder correlations in our several studies, was surprisingly high. To download the PEDI and scoring information. PEDI Inventory English


Moscoso, MS.,Lengacher, CA., Reheiser, EC. (2012). The assessment of Perceived Emotional Distress: the neglected side of cancer care. Journal of Psicooncologia,  Vol 9, (2-3). 277-288. Madrid, Spain.  PDF

Moscoso, MS. & Reheiser, EC.(2010). Construct validity of the Emotional Distress Inventory in patients with cancer. Journal Ansiedad y Estres, 16 (1), 83-94. Madrid, Spain. PDF First page BLANK.

Moscoso, MS., McCreary, D., Goldenfarb, P., Knapp, M. & Reheiser, EC. (2000). A brief screening inventory to measure emotional distress in cancer patients. Journal of Psycho-Oncology, 9, 5, S1-S106, 210.

Moscoso, MS., McCreary, D., Goldenfarb, P., Knapp, M.& Rohr, J. (1999). Construction of an inventory to measure emotional distress in cancer patients. Journal of Psycho-Oncology, 8, 6, S1-S70, 5.

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