A systematic review and meta-analysis of the Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire

Psychol Health. 2015;30(11):1361-85. doi: 10.1080/08870446.2015.1070851. Epub 2015 Aug 26.


Objective: This paper aims to systematically review the use and performance of the Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire (Brief IPQ).

Design: Electronic databases were searched for papers administering the Brief IPQ published in peer-reviewed journals. Data were extracted from the results for meta-analysis.

Main outcome measures: Use by illness population, country, language and study design. The questionnaire's concurrent validity, predictive validity, sensitivity to change, discriminant validity and mean scores for different populations were summarised.

Results: The review included 188 papers. The Brief IPQ has been administered to patients from age 8 to over 80, with a wide range of illnesses, in 26 languages from 36 countries. Pooled correlations between illness perceptions and depression, anxiety, blood glucose levels and quality of life were consistent with previous research and theory (range .25-.49 for consequences, identity and emotional representations; -.12 to -.27 for personal control). All items were able to predict some outcomes up to one-year follow-up. Each subscale demonstrated sensitivity to change after intervention in randomised controlled trials with the personal control and causal items showing most frequent change.

Conclusions: The Brief IPQ is widely used and has good psychometric properties. More studies should include and analyse the causal item.

Keywords: Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire; illness cognitions; illness perceptions; measurement; self-regulation model; validity.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnostic Self Evaluation*
  • Humans
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*