The Cohen–Hoberman inventory of physical symptoms: Factor structure, and preliminary tests of reliability and validity in the general population

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Abstract

Objective: The present study aimed to investigate the factor structure and psychometric properties of the Cohen–Hoberman inventory of physical symptoms (CHIPS). Construct and discriminant validity were examined by assessing associations between factors and subjective health complaints (SHC) inventory subscales in addition to measures of pain sensitivity, perceived stress and psychological distress. Design: A cross-sectional online survey was conducted with 535 healthy individuals from the general population (80.6% female, mean age = 29.80). Main outcome measures: Participants completed CHIPS, SHC, perceived stress scale, pain sensitivity questionnaire, and hospital anxiety and depression scale. Results: Principal components analysis demonstrated that CHIPS comprised 8 ‘symptoms’ factors as follows; ‘sympathetic/cardiac’ (7 items; α = .827), ‘muscular’ (6 items; α = .752), ‘metabolic’ (5 items; α = .736), ‘gastrointestinal’ (5 items; α = .714), ‘vasovagal’ (4 items; α = .743), ‘cold/flu’ (2 items; α = .837), ‘headache’ (2 items; α = .690) and ‘minor haemorrhagic’ (2 items; α = .309). Significant correlations were observed between factors and SHC subscales (moderate-high), pain sensitivity (negligible-low) and levels of perceived stress and anxiety (low-moderate) indicating good construct, and discriminant validity, respectively. Conclusions: CHIPS is a multidimensional and internally consistent measurement of physical symptoms. The postulated factor structure may be used for research purposes particularly in health psychology, to consistently differentiate between clusters of self-reported symptoms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-587
JournalPsychology & Health
Volume32
Issue number5
Early online date17 Feb 2017
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Feb 2017

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