The self-regulation model of illness applied to smoking behavior in lung cancer

Kristine K. Browning, Mary Ellen Wewers, Amy K. Ferketich, Gregory A. Otterson, Nancy R. Reynolds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Thirteen to 20% of lung cancer patients continue to smoke after diagnosis. Guided by Self-regulation Theory, the purpose of this study was to examine illness perceptions over time in a sample of lung cancer patients. This prospective 1-group descriptive longitudinal design study included participants 18 years or older, with a lung cancer diagnosis within the past 60 days who self-reported smoking within the past 7 days. At baseline, patients completed a sociodemographics and tobacco use history questionnaire. The Illness Perception Questionnaire-Revised (IPQ-R) was repeated at 3 time points (baseline, 2-4 weeks, and 6 months). Fifty-two participants provided data for the IPQ-R at baseline, 47 at 2 to 4 weeks, and 29 at 6 months. Differences between mean scores for each illness representation attribute of the IPQ-R at repeated time points were calculated by within-subjects repeated-measures analysis of variance and Wilcoxon Signed-Rank Tests. Identity (baseline vs 2-4 weeks: P = .026; baseline vs 6 months: P = .005) and acute/chronic timeline (P = .018) mean scores significantly increased over time; personal and treatment control mean scores significantly decreased over time (P = .007 and P = .047, respectively). Understanding the context in which a patient perceives disease and smoking behavior may contribute to developing interventions that influence behavior change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E15-E25
JournalCancer nursing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Common-sense model
  • Illness cognitions
  • Illness representation
  • Lung cancer
  • Self-regulation Theory
  • Smoking behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)


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