Psychometric evaluation of the revised Illness Perception Questionnaire (IPQ-R) in cancer patients: confirmatory factor analysis and Rasch analysis

Laura Ashley, Adam B Smith, Ada Keding, Helen Jones, Galina Velikova, Penny Wright
Journal of Psychosomatic Research 2013, 75 (6): 556-62

OBJECTIVE: To provide new insights into the psychometrics of the revised Illness Perception Questionnaire (IPQ-R) in cancer patients. To undertake, for the first time using data from breast, colorectal and prostate cancer patients, a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to assess the validity of the IPQ-R's core seven-factor structure. Also, for the first time in any illness group, to undertake Rasch analysis to explore the extent to which the IPQ-R factors form unidimensional scales, with linear measurement properties and no Differential Item Functioning (DIF).

METHODS: Patients with potentially curable breast, colorectal or prostate cancer, within 6months post-diagnosis, completed the IPQ-R online (N=531). CFA was conducted, including multi-sample analysis, and for each IPQ-R factor fit to the Rasch model was assessed by examining, amongst other things, item fit, DIF and unidimensionality.

RESULTS: The CFA showed a moderate fit of the data to the IPQ-R model, and stability across diagnosis, although fit was significantly improved following the removal of selected items. All seven factors achieved fit to the Rasch model, and exhibited unidimensionality and minimal DIF, although in most cases this was after some item rescoring and/or deletion. In both analyses, IPQ-R items 12, 18 and 24 were indicated as misfitting and removed.

CONCLUSION: Given the rigorous standard of Rasch measurement, and the generic nature of the IPQ-R, it stood up well to the demands of the Rasch model in this study. Importantly, the results show that with some relatively minor, pragmatic modifications the IPQ-R could possess Rasch-standard measurement in cancer patients.

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