Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 293–307 | Cite as

Assessing Patients’ Beliefs About Their Cancer-Related Fatigue: Validation of an Adapted Version of the Illness Perception Questionnaire

  • Maria Margareta Pertl
  • David Hevey
  • Gary Donohoe
  • Sonya Collier


Cancer-related fatigue (CRF) is a common and distressing side-effect of cancer treatment. The present study developed a brief version of the Illness Perception Questionnaire (IPQ) for assessing patients’ representations of CRF. Cancer patients and survivors (n = 155) completed a revised version of the IPQ as well as measures of fatigue severity at two different time-points. Confirmatory factor analysis at both Time 1 and 2 showed that the seven-factor solution based on the Self-Regulation Model fit the data adequately and factorial invariance over the two time-points was supported. The resulting subscales exhibited good internal consistency and test–retest reliability. The adapted version of the IPQ shows promise for the assessment of patient perceptions regarding CRF. The scale may be able to be used clinically to identify if patients have inaccurate or unhelpful representations of CRF and to help tailor interventions for persistent fatigue in cancer survivors.


Cancer-related fatigue Illness perceptions Cancer Fatigue Illness beliefs Self-regulation Treatment side-effects Quality of life 



This research was funded by the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET) ‘Embark Initiative’ and the Irish Cancer Society. The authors would like to acknowledge the help and support of the following cancer support groups and associations: Arc Cancer Support Centre, Arklow Cancer Support Group, Bray Cancer Support Group, Cancer Information and Support Centre Midwestern Regional Hospital, Cork ARC Cancer Support House, Cúnamh Bon Secours Cancer Support Group, Gary Kelly Support Centre, Greystones Cancer Support Centre, HOPE Cancer Support, Inis Aoibhinn Cancer Care West, Kerry Cancer Support Group, Lakelands Area Retreat and Cancer Centre (LARCC), Lymphoma Association, Mayo Cancer Support Association, Newbridge Myeloma Support Group, Ovacome, Prostate Cancer Charity, Roches Hair Solutions, Sligo Cancer Support Centre, SPARC Letterkenny, Suaimhneas, and the Tuam Cancer Care Support and Information Centre.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Margareta Pertl
    • 1
  • David Hevey
    • 1
  • Gary Donohoe
    • 2
  • Sonya Collier
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Psychology, Aras An Phiarsaigh, Trinity College DublinDublin 2Ireland
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatrySchool of Medicine, Trinity College DublinDublinIreland
  3. 3.Psychological Medicine, St James HospitalDublinIreland

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