Key words (3): illness perception, tobacco smoking, questionnaire (brief IPQ)
Principal investigator (PI), participating centres:
• Dragica Pesut (PI), specialist in lung diseases and tuberculosis, School of Medicine Univ of Belgrade, Clinical Centre of Serbia, Institute of Lung Diseases and Tuberculosis, 11000 Belgrade, Visegradska 26, Serbia; e-mail: and
 Bogdana Bursuc, Mind Institute, 93, N. Titulescu, Bucharest Romania;
• Contributors from India, Malaysia, Romania, Serbia, Sultanate of Oman and Thailand (see the List of participants).

Rationale for the study:
Individuals diagnosed with an illness or who suffer an injury develop cognitive models to make sense of their illness. These illness perceptions are important in guiding coping strategies and illness-specific behaviours such as adherence to treatment. It is suggested that illness perceptions matter and that greater awareness of patients’ beliefs can improve both communication in medical consultations and illness outcomes [2006-1].

Negative illness perceptions are associated with poorer recovery independent of objective measures of illness severity. More negative views of their illness held by patients are associated with poorer outcomes. Illness perceptions can be changed, offering considerable opportunity to improve patients’ adjustment to illness in the future [2007].
Illness perceptions can now be assessed by a number of psychometric instruments.

Tobacco smokers may develop perceptions of their illness*, the physicians are not familiar enough with.
The illness perceptions may differ among countries and continents.
The smoking cessation outcome may be in correlation with smokers’ illness perception (stage II of the study). Note: ‘ilness’ in this context denotes tobacco smoking as an addictive disease.


  • to bring new light into European and Asian smokers’ perceptions of their illness;
  • to compare these perceptions among different countries within Europe and possibly to some Asian countries;
  • to investigate if there is a correlation between smokers perceptions and cessation outcome (stage II of the study);

Approach and analysis: A questionnaire based study. The Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire (BIPQ) is a 9-item questionnaire (free use approved). It provides a rapid assessment of illness perceptions, showed good test re-test reliability and good predictive validity in already tested patients’ groups with few other diseases [2006-2].  The Pts group 300-500 at least (40-50 from a participating centre). Statistical methods: t-test and multivariate analysis.

Perspectives: Recognizing smokers’ perceptions might make it closer how to obtain their motivation and compliance for cessation better, and thus prevent tobacco-related disorders.


UICC Abstract 2010

D. P. Pesut 1,*, M. V. Bulajic 2, B. N. Bursuc 3, R. T. Vusovic 1, D. Z. Bozic 1
1Research and Epidemiology, School of Medicine University of Belgrade,Institute of Lung Diseases, 2Laboratory of Statistics, Faculty of Organizational Science, Belgrade, Serbia, 3Psychotherapy, Mind Institute, Bucharest, Romania

Background: The Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire (BIPQ) is a 9-item questionnaire, which has not been used toassess illness perception in lung cancer (LC) patients (Pts).*

Objectives: To investigate a group of LC Pts in terms of their perception of the illness in the correlation with demographic features and the clinical aspects of the disease.

Methods: An observational questionnaire based study. Forty nine successive LC Pts with valid questionnaires were enrolled by mid January 2010 (35 NSCLC and 14 SCLC type). Each item of the BIPQ assessed one dimension of illness perceptions like the consequences, timeline, personal control, treatment control, identity, coherence, emotional
representation and concern. We used original instructions to score, and SPSS for Windows Version 16.0 to perform the analysis.

Results: The Pts’ average age was 62.67±6.944 years (range, 49-77) and male/female ratio was 2.5; 75.5% Pts lived in urban and 24.5% in rural areas. Tobacco smoking status (TSS) analysis showed 67.3% current, 22% former smokers and four passive smokers (54,76 pack/years on average). The overall BIPQ score = 38.99 (range, 27.99-67.99). The
highest item-related scores were found for treatment control (8.49±2.001), illness understanding (7.35±3.025) and concern (6.63±3.389), and the lowest for symptoms (5.16±2.875). No significant correlation between the BIPQ score and histology types was found. Despite TSS found, only 26.5% participants ranked tobacco smoking as the first cause of the disease.

Conclusions: The results support importance of further research of the implementation of the BIPQ in cancer patients aimed to confirm specific fields for proper intervention.

References: Broadbent E, et al. J Psychosomat Res 2006;60:631–7.
Disclosure of Interest: None Declared

Keywords: Lung Cancer, Patients (Groups, Information, Support)