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J Psychosom Res. 1993 Jan;37(1):19-32.

Development of the Perceived Stress Questionnaire: a new tool for psychosomatic research.

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Gastroenterology Department, Nuovo Regina Margherita Hospital, Rome, Italy.


A 30-question Perceived Stress Questionnaire (PSQ) was validated, in Italian and English, among 230 subjects. Test-retest reliability was 0.82 for the General (past year or two) PSQ, while monthly Recent (past month) PSQs varied by a mean factor of 1.9 over 6 months; coefficient alpha > 0.9. General and/or Recent PSQ scores were associated with trait anxiety (r = 0.75), Cohen's Perceived Stress Scale (r = 0.73), depression (r = 0.56), self-rated stress (r = 0.56), and stressful life events (p < 0.05). The General PSQ was higher in in-patients than in out-patients (p < 0.05); both forms were correlated with a somatic complaints scale in a non-patient population (r > 0.5), and were higher, among 27 asymptomatic ulcerative colitis patients, in the seven who had rectal inflammation than in those with normal proctoscopy (p = 0.03). Factor analysis yielded seven factors, of which those reflecting interpersonal conflict and tension were significantly associated with health outcomes. The Perceived Stress Questionnaire may be a valuable addition to the armamentarium of psychosomatic researchers.

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