Psychometric properties of a scale to measure investment in the sick role : the Illness Cognitions Scale

Berk, Michael, Berk, Lesley, Dodd, Seetal, Jacka, Felice N., Fitzgerald, Paul B., de Castella, Anthony R., Filia, Sacha, Filia, Kate, Kulkarni, Jayashri, Jackson, Henry J. and Stafford, Lesley 2012, Psychometric properties of a scale to measure investment in the sick role : the Illness Cognitions Scale, Journal of evaluation of clinical practice, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 360-364, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2753.2010.01570.x.

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Title Psychometric properties of a scale to measure investment in the sick role : the Illness Cognitions Scale
Author(s) Berk, MichaelORCID iD for Berk, Michael
Berk, LesleyORCID iD for Berk, Lesley
Dodd, SeetalORCID iD for Dodd, Seetal
Jacka, Felice N.ORCID iD for Jacka, Felice N.
Fitzgerald, Paul B.
de Castella, Anthony R.
Filia, Sacha
Filia, Kate
Kulkarni, Jayashri
Jackson, Henry J.
Stafford, Lesley
Journal name Journal of evaluation of clinical practice
Volume number 18
Issue number 2
Start page 360
End page 364
Total pages 5
Publisher Wiley - Blackwell Publishing
Place of publication Oxford, England
Publication date 2012
ISSN 1356-1294
Summary Rationale, aims and objectives A person’s beliefs about their illness may contribute to recovery and prognosis. Some degree of acceptance of illness and its impact is necessary to integrate the presence of a chronic disorder into one’s lifestyle and adhere to necessary components of illness management; however, some individuals can become ‘stuck’ and have difficulty adjusting out of the sick role. Inventories exist to measure illness cognitions, attitudes and behaviours as they relate to hypochondria and psychosomatic illness, but there is no extant measure of sick role inertia.We describe the psychometric properties of a new scale, the Illness Cognitions Scale (ICS), a metric of investment in the sick role.

Methods The ICS was administered to 97 individuals with bipolar or schizoaffective disorder, and the psychometric properties of the scale measured. Dimensionality was assessed using Principal Components Analysis with Oblimin rotation.

Results The scale has a strong internal consistency, with a Cronbach’s alpha of 0.858. Results of a factor analysis suggested the presence of one main factor, with three other smaller, related sub-factors, capturing aspects of maladaptive illness beliefs.

Conclusion The ICS is a 17-item, internally validated scale measuring difficulty adjusting out of the sick role. The scale predominantly measures a single construct. Further research on external validity of the ICS is required as well as determination of the clinical significance and patient acceptability of the scale.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2753.2010.01570.x
Field of Research 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2010, Blackwell Publishing
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Medicine
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