Validation of the self regulation questionnaire as a measure of health in quality of life research

Eur J Med Res. 2009 May 14;14(5):223-7. doi: 10.1186/2047-783x-14-5-223.


Objectives: Several epidemiological studies address psychosomatic self regulation as a measure of quality of life aspects. However, although widely used in studies with a focus on complementary cancer treatment, and recognized to be associated with better survival of cancer patients, it is unclear what the self regulation questionnaire exactly measures.

Design and setting: In a sample of 444 individuals (27% healthy, 33% cancer, 40% other internal diseases), we performed reliability and exploratory factor analyses, and correlated the 16-item instrument with external measures such as the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, the Herdecke Quality of Life questionnaire, and autonomic regulation questionnaire.

Results: The 16-item pool had a very good internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha = 0.948) and satisfying/good (r subsetrt = 0.796) test-retest reliability after 3 months. Exploratory factor analysis indicated 2 sub-constructs: (1) Ability to change behaviour in order to reach goals, and (2) Achieve satisfaction and well-being. Both sub-scales correlated well with quality of life aspects, particularly with Initiative Power/Interest, Social Interactions, Mental Balance, and negatively with anxiety and depression.

Conclusions: The Self Regulation Questionnaire (SRQ) was found to be a valid and reliable tool which measures unique psychosomatic abilities. Self regulation deals with competence and autonomy and can be regarded as a problem solving capacity in terms of an active adaptation to stressful situations to restore well-being. The tool is an interesting option to be used particularly in complementary medicine research with a focus on behavioural modification.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personal Autonomy*
  • Psychometrics
  • Quality of Life*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sickness Impact Profile*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*