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Development and preliminary validation of the Sickness Questionnaire (SicknessQ)
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute. Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
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2013 (English)In: Brain, behavior, and immunity, ISSN 0889-1591, E-ISSN 1090-2139, Vol. 32, e14Article in journal, Meeting abstract (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The lack of questionnaires to measure subjective feelings of being sick made us develope the Sickness Questionnaire (SicknessQ) for assessment of sickness behavior in people. The objective of the present investigation was to test its internal consistency, criteria validity, and sensitivity to capture the sickness response in an experimental setting. An initial pool of items was developed based on previous research. The statistical properties of SicknessQ was assessed in 172 men and women primary care patients with acute complaints and involved three steps: (1) principal component analyses to reduce the number of items and to identify latent factor structures, (2) tests of internal consistencies of subscales, and (3) hierarchical regression analyses to test criteria validity of the subscales. Subsequently, sensitivity to change was tested in a placebo controlled experiment in which 31 blinded healthy men and women were injected with endotoxin (LPS) to provoke sickness behavior. Principal components analysis suggested a 3-factor solution with a total of 11 items measuring fatigue (5 items), pain (4 items) and emotion (2 items). The total scale as well as each of the three separate factors were significantly changed 90 min after endotoxin injection as compared to baseline (p’s < .01). In all, the new 11-item SicknessQ is highly sensitive to a mild systemic inflammation. Further studies are planned to test its usefulness and prognostic value in clinical settings.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 32, e14
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-98561DOI: 10.1016/j.bbi.2013.07.061Local ID: P3102OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-98561DiVA: diva2:684408
Conference
PsychoNeuroImmunology Research Society's 20th Annual Scientific Meeting, Stockholm, Sweden, 5-8 June, 2013
Available from: 2014-01-08 Created: 2014-01-08 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved

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