Newly diagnosed HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM) are an important subgroup in HIV intervention. How newly diagnosed HIV-positive MSM look at HIV/AIDS is consequential and is potentially associated with their risk behaviors and mental health problems. Illness representation has been used to define patients’ beliefs and expectations on an illness, and the revised Illness Perception Questionnaire (IPQ-R) has been developed to measure illness representations. This study aims to examine the psychometric properties of the IPQ-R among newly diagnosed HIV-positive MSM and to investigate their views towards HIV/AIDS.
A total of 225 newly diagnosed HIV-positive MSM completed the Chinese version of IPQ-R. Both confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and exploratory factor analysis (EFA) were applied to examine the factor structure of IPQ-R.
CFA showed a poor goodness of fit to the original factor structure of IPQ-R. EFA of the IPQ-R revealed 7 factors, including Emotional Response, Treatment Control, Timeline-acute/chronic, Illness Coherence, Consequence, Personal Control and Helplessness. Cronbach’s alpha showed acceptable internal consistency for the derived factors, except the Personal Control (0.61) and Helplessness (0.55). Person correlation coefficients demonstrated that the derived factors of IPQ-R had significant associations with the outcome variables (depression and posttraumatic growth). The scores of the Emotional Response, Consequence, Treatment Control, Personal Control, Timeline-acute/chronic and Illness Coherence were above the midpoint, and the score of the Helplessness was below the midpoint.
Both similarities and differences were found when the IPQ-R is applied to newly diagnosed HIV-positive MSM. The IPQ-R can be used with some refinements in future studies. Newly diagnosed HIV-positive MSM have a relatively high level of negative perceptions towards HIV/AIDS in both cognitive and emotional aspects.
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- How newly diagnosed HIV-positive men who have sex with men look at HIV/AIDS – validation of the Chinese version of the revised illness perception questionnaire
Joseph T. F. Lau
Winnie W. S. Mak
Phoenix K. H. Mo
- BioMed Central
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