A global measure of sickness behaviour: development of the Sickness Questionnaire

Anna Andreasson, Rikard K. Wicksell, Karin Lodin, Bianka Karshikoff, John Axelsson, Mats Lekander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Symptoms after inflammatory activation, so-called sickness behaviour, overlap with trans-diagnostic complaints. As no self-report questionnaire to assess sickness behaviour exists, we aimed to develop such an instrument, the Sickness Questionnaire. Items responsive to experimentally induced inflammatory activation (randomized double-blind study endotoxin (0.6 ng/kg) versus placebo, n = 52) were selected and the statistical properties were examined in 172 primary care patients. A principal component analysis indicated a one-factor solution (Cronbach's alpha = .86). This 10-item scale correlated with depression (β = .41, p < .001), anxiety (β = .36, p < .001), self-rated health (β = .28, p < .001) and a single item of feeling sick (β = .55, p < .001). The results support the adequacy of Sickness Questionnaire as a brief assessment instrument of perceived sickness behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1452-1463
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Health Psychology
Issue number11
Early online date24 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • endotoxin
  • sickness behaviour
  • Sickness Questionnaire
  • sickness response
  • validation


Dive into the research topics of 'A global measure of sickness behaviour: development of the Sickness Questionnaire'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this