The psychometric properties of the Revised Illness Perception Questionnaire (IPQ-R) regarding Internet gaming disorder in a general population of Chinese adults

Joseph T. F. LAU, Le DANG, Ray Y. H. CHEUNG, Meng Xuan ZHANG, Juliet Honglei CHAN, Man Sze Anise WU*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Background and aims
Internet gaming disorder (IGD) has been recognized as a mental illness. Cognitive and emotional illness representations affect coping and health outcomes. Very little is known about such perceptions related to IGD, in both general and diseased populations. This study examined the psychometric properties of the Revised Illness Perception Questionnaire (IPQ-R) for IGD in a general population that included mostly non-cases while a small proportion of the sample was IGD cases.

An anonymous cross-sectional telephone survey was conducted in a random sample of 1,501 Chinese community-dwelling adults (41.3% male; mean age = 40.42, SD = 16.85) in Macao, China.

The confirmatory factor analysis identified a modified 6-factor model (i.e., timeline cyclical, consequences, personal control, treatment control, illness coherence, and emotional representations) of 26 items that showed satisfactory model fit and internal consistency. Criterion-related validity was supported by the constructs' significant correlations with stigma (positive correlations: timeline cyclical, consequence, emotional representations; negative correlations: illness coherence). Ever-gamers, compared to never-gamers, reported higher mean scores in the subscales of personal control and illness coherence, and lower mean scores in time cyclical, consequence, and emotional representations. Among the sampled gamers, probable IGD cases were more likely than non-IGD cases to perceive IGD as cyclical and involved more negative emotions.

This study shows that the revised 26-item version of IPQ-R is a valid instrument for assessing illness representation regarding IGD in a general population of Chinese adults. It can be used in future research that examines factors of incidence and prevention related to IGD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)654-663
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Behavioral Addictions
Issue number3
Early online date8 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Source:
The research was supported by the research grant of the University of Macau (Ref #: MYRG2016-00162-FSS and MYRG2019-00014-FSS). The funding source had no role in the study design, collection, analysis or interpretation of the data, writing the manuscript, or the decision to submit the paper for publication.

Authors' contribution
TFL was involved in research conception, questionnaire design, as well as writing and finalizing the manuscript. LD was involved in literature review and manuscript writing. RYHC was responsible for data analysis and result interpretation. MXZ was involved in literature review, data preparation, and manuscript preparation. JHC was involved in data collection and preparation. AMSW was the principal investigator of the project and responsible for research conception, design, and coordination, data interpretation, and manuscript preparation. All authors contributed to and approved the final manuscript.


  • Behavioral addiction
  • Illness Perception Questionnaire-Revised
  • Illness representation
  • Internet gaming disorder
  • Online gaming


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