Beliefs about surgery: Development and validation of an instrument to assess cognitive representations about surgery, in the context of a chronic illness

Jillian J. Francis, Samantha M. Wileman, Hilary Bekker, Gerry R. Barton, Craig R. Ramsay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)


Objectives: Within a trial of medical and surgical treatments for gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GORD), involving randomised arms and preference arms, we tested the applicability of the Beliefs about Medicines Questionnaire (BMQ) and developed and tested the validity of a new Beliefs about Surgery Questionnaire (BSQ). Methods: Patients with GORD (N = 43) were interviewed to elicit their beliefs about medical and surgical treatments. These contributed to the development of BSQ items. The BMQ and BSQ were completed by trial participants at baseline (randomised trial: N = 325; preference trial: N = 414). Factor analysis and discriminant function analysis were used to assess validity. Results: Principal components analysis (PCA) largely replicated the four-factor BMQ structure. PCA of the combined BMQ/BSQ yielded six factors explaining 54.5% variance. BSQ items loaded onto distinct factors, demonstrating divergence from BMQ. As predicted, BMQ/BSQ scores enabled correct classification of 78.5% of participants to medication and surgery groups in the preference trial (chi(2) (6) = 205.9, p<50.001) but only 54.5% (no better than chance) in the randomised trial (chi(2) (6) = 9.4, p = 0.154). Conclusions: The BSQ is a valid measure of perceptions about surgical treatments for GORD. With the BMQ, it provides information that may guide patients' choices about treatment. This measure may be applicable to other conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1125-1137
Number of pages13
JournalPsychology & Health
Issue number10
Early online date31 Oct 2008
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009


  • beliefs about treatment questionnaire
  • gastro-esophageal reflux
  • patient preference
  • beliefs about medicines questionnaire
  • gastroesophageal-reflux disease
  • quality-of-life
  • self-regulation
  • perception questionnaire
  • complementary
  • management
  • medication
  • health
  • model

Cite this