Translation and cultural adaptation of the Shame and Stigma Scale (SSS) into Portuguese (Brazil) to evaluate patients with head and neck cancer

Abstract Introduction: Head and neck cancer is the sixth leading cause of death from cancer worldwide and its treatment may involve surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. The surgical procedure may cause mutilating sequelae, that can alter patient self-image. Thus, head and neck cancer is often connected to the negative stigma with decreased quality of life. Few studies assess the social stigma and shame perceived by patients with head and neck cancer. Objective: To perform the translation and cultural adaptation of the Shame and Stigma Scale (SSS) into Portuguese (Brazil). Methods: Two independent translations (English into Portuguese) were carried out by two professionals fluent in the English language. After the synthesis of the translations, two independent back-translations (from Portuguese into English) were performed by two translators whose native language is English. All translations were critically assessed by a committee of experts consisting of five members. A sample of 15 patients answered the Brazilian Portuguese version of the SSS to carry out the pretest. At this step, the patients were able to suggest modifications and evaluate the understanding of the items. Results: There was no need to change the scale after this step. Based on the previous steps, we obtained the Portuguese (Brazil) version of the SSS, which was called "Escala de Vergonha e Estigma". Conclusion: The Portuguese (Brazil) version of the SSP was shown to be adequate to be applied to the population with HNC and, therefore, the psychometric properties of the tool will be evaluated during following steps.