Development and psychometrics of the english version of the itch cognitions questionnaire

Carolyn J. Heckman, Christina Schut, Mary Riley, Anke Ehlers, Rodrigo Valdes Rodriguez, Jorg Kupfer, Uwe Gieler, Jerod L. Stapleton

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3 Scopus citations


Background The aim of this study was to validate the English version of the Itch Cognition Questionnaire in a sample of patients with chronic itch due to psoriasis or atopic dermatitis. An English-language version of an instrument assessing itch-related cognitions is needed since cognitions can contribute to a worsening of itch, and chronic itch is prevalent in English-speaking counties and internationally. Methods The German Itch Cognitions Questionnaire was translated into English, and cognitive interviewing was conducted to finalize item wording. Internal and test-retest reliability, item discrimination, responsiveness to change, and construct, convergent, and discriminant validity were assessed in a national sample of 137 individuals with chronic itch due to atopic dermatitis or psoriasis recruited online. Results Internal reliability was high with Cronbach's alphas of 0.93 for the Catastrophizing subscale and 0.88-0.90 for Coping. The Pearson's correlation assessing 1-month test-retest reliability for the Catastrophizing subscale was r = 0.62 and for the Coping subscale was r = 0.61. The corrected item-total correlation revealed that items were relatively consistent with the scores for the subscales (with correlations ranging from 0.58 to 0.79), indicating very good item discrimination. Results of factor analysis, convergent and discriminant, and responsiveness to change analyses provided evidence for validity. Conclusions This study showed good psychometric characteristics of the English version of the Itch Cognitions Questionnaire. We suggest that future studies investigate the use of the measure in clinical practice to assist with treatment planning and outcome assessment related to itch as well as address study limitations such as sampling and replication.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0230585
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Weeks et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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