Illness Perceptions: Measurements and Application in Oncology


  • L. Restivo
  • T. Apostolidis
  • C. Julian-Reynier


The concept of illness representations is of major interest in health psychology. It has been described as a predictor of health behaviour and patient’s subjective experience. This literature review has two main objectives: firstly to identify and to assess the available scales, and secondly to analyse their use in empirical studies with cancer patients. Our goal is to propose recommendations for future researches. Two consecutive reviews have been carried out through four databases. 7 measuring tools differing from their features and psychometric properties were identified. Only one of them is cancer specific and aims at assessing individual knowledge about cancer. 29 of the 33 included studies use one of the three IPQ versions. They give priority to specific subscales and adapt items to their objectives. Despite the fact that these tools are based on different theoretical frameworks, all of them focus on perceptions conceptualised as universally shared whatever the pathology. Consequently, none of the reviewed tools appear to be more appropriate to the cancer specific context. We highlight the interest of mixed methods to investigate in a more comprehensive way these issues.






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