The reliability and validity of the Chinese version of the Metacognitions about Health Questionnaire in college students
In order to explain the potential mechanism that might motivate and maintain health anxiety (HA), researchers have developed several measures to assess the level of HA and to identify related cognitions and personality features. However, such instruments typically measure general metacognitions [e.g., the Metacognition Questionnaire-30 (MCQ-30)], thereby compromising the degree of sensitivity and specificity of measurement as applied to HA-related metacognitions. To address that issue, the Metacognitions about Health Questionnaire (MCQ-HA) was designed especially for measuring metacognitive beliefs specific to HA. Because a Chinese version of MCQ-HA may be helpful in improving our understanding of HA in a Chinese population, in the current study we sought to develop a Chinese version of the MCQ-HA (CMCQ-HA).
We translated the MCQ-HA into Chinese with consideration of cultural diversity. For evaluation of its validity and stability, a sample of 1290 Chinese college students answered the CMCQ-HA, the Short Health Anxiety Inventory, the MCQ-30, and the Neuroticism scale of the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire. 292 students of them answered the CMCQ-HA twice.
Good internal consistency (α = 0.81) and test–retest reliability (ICC = 0.70) of the CMCQ-HA was presented. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses indicated a three-factor structure: beliefs about biased thinking, beliefs that thoughts can cause illness, and beliefs that thoughts are uncontrollable. Convergent validity, divergent validity, and incremental validity all were acceptable. Measurement invariance across gender was established.
The CMCQ-HA shows promise for the measurement of specific HA-related metacognitions in Chinese populations.
KeywordsHealth anxiety Metacognition Reliability and validity Chinese population
This research was supported by the New Xiangya Talent Project of the Third Xiangya Hospital of Central South University (Grant No. 20150302).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.
The Institutional Review Board of the Third Xiangya Hospital in Hunan approved the study (2017-S208).
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