Patients' perception of their depressive illness

Rachel Manber, Andrea S. Chambers, Sabrina K. Hitt, Cynthia McGahuey, Pedro Delgado, John J.B. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Perception of illness has been described as an important predictor in the medical health psychology literature, but has been given little attention in the domain of mental disorders. The patient's Perception of Depression Questionnaire (PDIQ) is a newly developed measure whose factor structure and psychometric properties were evaluated on a sample of 174 outpatients meeting criteria for major depressive disorder. The clinical utility of the questionnaire was assessed on a sub-sample of 121 participants in a study of acupuncture treatment for depression. The questionnaire has four subscales, each with high internal consistency and high test-retest reliability. These four subscales are: Self-Efficacy, which reflects perceived controllability of the illness, Externalizing, which reflects attributing the illness to external causes, Hopeless/Flawed, which reflect a belief that depression is a personal trait and therefore there is little hope for cure, and Holistic, which reflects a belief in alternative therapies. Although the PDIQ did not predict outcome, its subscales were related to adherence to treatment, treatment preference, expectations, and therapeutic alliance. The subscales have adequate convergent/discriminant validity and are clinically relevant to aspects of treatment provision.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-343
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2003


  • Depression
  • Externalizing
  • Holistic
  • Hopeless
  • Self-efficacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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