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Illness perception questionnaire

Click here to download the shortened form of the illness perception questionnaire which allows patients to describe concerns, beliefs and expectations.

Each item of the Brief IPQ assesses one dimension of illness perceptions:

  • The consequences score is simply the response to item 1.
  • The timeline score is the response to item 2
  • The personal control scores is the response to item 3
  • The treatment control score is the response to item 4
  • The identity score is the response to item 5
  • The coherence score is the response to item 7
  • The emotional representation is the response to item 8.
  • Illness concern is measured by item 6. This reflects a combination of emotional and cognitive representations.
  • Item 9 is the causal item.

Reponses can be grouped into categories such as stress, lifestyle, hereditary, etc. determined by the particular illness studied. Categorical analysis can then be performed, either on just the top listed cause or all three listed causes.

In some circumstances it may be possible to compute an overall score which represents the degree to which the illness is perceived as threatening or benign. The internal consistency of this score will depend on the illness studied and it is recommended this is checked. To compute the score, reverse score items 3, 4, and 7 and add these to items 1, 2, 5, 6, and 8. A higher score reflects a more threatening view of the illness.

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