The results of cross-sectional and prospective studies suggest that the disease conviction scale of the Illness Behavior Questionnaire (IBQ) provides important information about chronic pain. To examine further the characteristics and correlates of this scale, the relationships between disease conviction and average pain intensity and interference of pain with daily activities were examined in a sample of chronic pain patients.
The disease conviction scale and measures of hypochondriasis, psychological distress, pain intensity, and pain interference were administered to a sample of 127 chronic pain patients.
The results suggested that pain intensity and interference were more strongly associated with disease conviction than with measures of psychological distress and hypochondriasis. In an analysis in which the relationships between the individual items of the disease conviction scale and pain intensity and interference were examined, disease conviction scale items that reflect consequences of pain and illness were significantly associated with both pain intensity and pain interference, whereas items that reflect disease conviction were in general not associated with either pain intensity or interference.
These results suggest that items included in the disease conviction scale that reflect consequences of pain and illness, rather than disease conviction, may have contributed to the relationships that have been reported between disease conviction and other aspects of the chronic pain experience.