Development of the perceived barriers scale: a new instrument identifying barriers to career development and employment for young adult survivors of pediatric CNS tumors

David R. Strauser, Fong Chan, Elizabeth Fine, Kanako Iwanaga, Chelsea Greco, Cori Liptak

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Purpose: Given the significant employment disparities for survivors of pediatric brain tumors, there is increased need to conduct vocational and career research with this group. The purpose of the present study was to construct an instrument, the Perceived Barriers Scale, that is psychometrically sound and has both clinical and research application related to career and employment issues of pediatric brain tumor survivors. Method: The participants consisted of 110 young adult central nervous system survivors of childhood cancer aged between 18 and 30 years old (M = 23.05, SD = 3.36) who were identified by the DFCI Pediatric Brain Tumor Clinic. The 12-item Perceived Barriers Scale was developed from a comprehensive literature review, clinical interviews conducted with survivors of pediatric brain tumors, and feedback from multidisciplinary providers. Exploratory factor analysis and correlations were completed to examine the initial psychometric properties of the scale. Results: Exploratory factors analysis identified two factors that accounted for 57.92% with the two factors labeled as internal barriers and external barriers. All factors loaded significantly onto their respective factors (.48 to.88). The results of the correlational analysis found significant relationships between both internal barrier and external barrier subscales and CSE and WHODAS-2 providing initial support for the construct validity of the Perceived Barriers Scale. Conclusions: Overall, the study findings indicate good psychometrics with the brevity of the scale increasing potential application and utilization in both research and clinical settings. Implications for cancer survivors: Identification of employment barriers for brain tumor survivors provides opportunity for more targeted vocational intervention.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cancer Survivorship
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Feb 15


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)

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