Cancer-related parental beliefs: the Family Illness Beliefs Inventory (FIBI)

J Pediatr Psychol. 2004 Oct;29(7):531-42. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsh055.


Objective: The goal of this study was to develop a reliable and valid method for assessing the cancer-related beliefs of parents with a child in treatment for cancer.

Method: One hundred twenty-five families (119 mothers, 56 fathers) completed a measure of cancer-related beliefs written to reflect common themes associated with the diagnosis and treatment of childhood cancer. Participants also completed self-report questionnaires used for validation of the Family Illness Beliefs Inventory (FIBI).

Results: Principal-components analysis was used to derive a 41-item five-factor solution from the maternal data--Factor 1: Treatment-Related Suffering; Factor 2: Death and Devastation; Factor 3: Caregiver Competence; Factor 4: Connection; and Factor 5: Finding Meaning. Correlations with validation measures supported the factor structure. Paternal data showed similar patterns.

Conclusions: The FIBI is a psychometrically sound method for identifying parental cancer-related beliefs. This measure may be helpful in developing and evaluating interventions to reduce parental distress related to childhood cancer and promote adaptive family functioning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Child
  • Culture*
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Family / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms*
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*