Illness perceptions in patients of schizophrenia: A preliminary investigation from Lahore, Pakistan

Sadia Hussain, Nazish Imran, Usman Amin Hotiana, Nauman Mazhar, Aftab Asif


Background and Objective: Patient’s perception of their illness influences their healthcare decisions. The objectives of this study were to explore patient’s own beliefs about their illness (Schizophrenia) and perceived social support, and its impact on their attitudes toward pharmacological treatment in Lahore, Pakistan.

Methods: This study was conducted at Mayo Hospital Lahore from March to September 2016. Hundred individuals suffering from Schizophrenia completed four questionnaires; a socio-demographic questionnaire, the Illness Perception Questionnaire for Schizophrenia (IPQ-S), Drug attitude Inventory-10 (DAI) and Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (PSS).

Results: Stress, family problems, lack of friends & financial worries were endorsed strongly by patients as cause of their mental illness. Ambiguity regarding their mental illness duration and personal control was observed. Patients’ perceived significant negative consequences, negative emotional response, as well as had poor understanding of their mental illness and treatment effectiveness. Statistically significant gender differences in treatment control and illness coherence subscales of IPQS were observed. Drug attitude inventory was positively correlated with Treatment control subscale (p < 0.01) and negatively correlated with Illness coherence subscale of IPQS (p < 0.05). The negative consequences subscale and perceived social support was negatively correlated (p < 0.01).

Conclusion: Patient’s perception about their own illness is predictor of their drug taking attitude and perceived social support. Study results should help to develop new interventions to correct inaccurate beliefs in patients with schizophrenia to improve illness outcome.


How to cite this:Hussain S, Imran N, Hotiana UA, Mazhar N, Asif A. Illness perceptions in patients of schizophrenia: A preliminary investigation from Lahore, Pakistan. Pak J Med Sci. 2017;33(4):829-834.   doi:

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 work is properly cited.

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