Developing a spouse version of the Illness Perception Questionnaire-Revised (IPQ-R) for husbands of women with rheumatoid arthritis

Psychol Health. 2009 Apr;24(4):473-87. doi: 10.1080/08870440701867788.


A husband's beliefs about his wife's rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may be important to his provision of support and well-being. We adapted seven subscales of the Illness Perception Questionnaire-Revised to assess husbands' beliefs about their wives' RA. We recruited 190 couples (average years married = 22; average years with RA = 14) from community settings to complete surveys assessing illness perceptions, psychosocial and illness variables at baseline and four-month follow-up. We conducted exploratory factor analyses, calculated Cronbach's alphas for each factor, and examined construct validity. This process yielded six parallel wife and husband subscales assessing beliefs about the (a) timeline, (b) consequences and (c) cyclical nature of RA, and women's RA (d) emotional responses, (e) control and (f) illness coherence. All items loaded above 0.50 on their respective factors and Cronbach's alphas ranged from 0.72 to 0.86. Subscales were inter-related in a manner consistent with previous research and husbands' beliefs were related to a variety of illness and adjustment variables. The factor structure was replicated in the same sample at follow-up (n = 165). This study introduces an instrument to assess spouse beliefs about RA that may help to elucidate the role of spousal relationships in illness adaptation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid*
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Perception*
  • Spouses / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards
  • Women's Health*