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Development and psychometric properties of a short form of the Illness Denial Questionnaire

Authors Rossi Ferrario S, Panzeri A, Anselmi P, Vidotto G

Received 5 March 2019

Accepted for publication 17 June 2019

Published 22 August 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 727—739

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PRBM.S207622

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Igor Elman


Silvia Rossi Ferrario,1 Anna Panzeri,1,2 Pasquale Anselmi,3 Giulio Vidotto2

1Psychology and Neuropsychology Unit, Istituti Clinici Scientifici Maugeri, Veruno, Italy; 2Department of General Psychology, University of Padova, Padova, Italy; 3Department of Philosophy, Sociology, Education and Applied Psychology, University of Padova, Padova, Italy

Correspondence: Silvia Rossi Ferrario
Psychology and Neuropsychology Unit, Istituti Clinici Scientifici Maugeri, Via per Revislate 13, Veruno 28010, Italy
Tel +39 032 288 4781
Email silvia.ferrario@icsmaugeri.it

On behalf of the Italian Psychologist Study Group for SID (Sickness Illness and Disease)

Background: Coping with chronic illness can be overwhelming for patients and caregivers, and may be inhibited by the denial mechanism, and therefore, denial represents a critical issue for health professionals. Assessing illness denial is far from easy, and brief tools suitable for medical settings are lacking. In this paper, the development of a short form of the Illness Denial Questionnaire (IDQ) for patients and caregivers is presented.
Methods: In study 1, the IDQ was administered to 118 patients and 83 caregivers to examine the internal structure of denial; then the properties of the items (DIF, fit, and difficulty) were evaluated according to the Rasch model in order to select the best items for the Illness Denial Questionnaire-Short Form (IDQ-SF). Study 2 included 202 participants (113 patients and 89 caregivers). The internal structure of the IDQ-SF was tested via confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). Reliability and concurrent validity were also studied using the Anxiety and Depression Questionnaire-Reduced Form (AD-R).
Results: The CFA showed a two-factor structure encompassing “Denial of negative emotions” and “Resistance to change”. Results of the Rasch analyses led to the selection of 4 items for each dimension. The resulting IDQ-SF (8 items) showed a two-factor structure as well as good reliability and concurrent validity with AD-R.
Conclusion: The IDQ-SF represents a valid tool for quickly evaluating the core of illness denial in patients and caregivers. This brief and easily administrable questionnaire allows health professionals to outline the presence and severity of illness denial in order to set individually tailored interventions.

Keywords: denial, illness, Illness Denial Questionnaire, patients, caregivers, assessment


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