Italian validation of the Purpose in Life (PIL) test and the Seeking of Noetic Goals (SONG) test in a population of cancer patients

C. Brunelli, E. Bianchi, L. Murru, P. Monformoso, M. Bosisio, L. Gangeri, G. Miccinesi, M. Scrignaro, C. Ripamonti, C. Borreani

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Objective The first instruments developed to evaluate specific logotherapeutic dimensions were the Purpose In Life (PIL) and the Seeking Of Noetic Goals (SONG) tests, designed to reflect Frankl's concepts of, respectively, meaning in life attainment and will to meaning. This study aims to perform the Italian cultural adaptation and the psychometric validation of the PIL and SONG questionnaires. Methods We administered the PIL and SONG, culturally adapted into the Italian language, to 266 cancer patients. The psychometric validation appraised construct validity, internal consistency, test-retest reliability, known-group validity, and convergent validity of the two questionnaires with respect to one another. Results The factorial analysis indicates that the original single-factor solution can be maintained for both instruments (proportion of variance explained by the first factor 77% and 71% for the PIL and SONG, respectively). The results show excellent internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha of 0.91 for the PIL and 0.90 for the SONG) and test-retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient of 0.92 for the PIL and 0.81 for the SONG). As expected,males, believers, patients nearer to the diagnosis, and patients not undergoing psychological therapy have higher PIL and lower SONG scores, while expectations for age were not confirmed. The average level for the PIL was 107.3, while for the SONG, it was 66.1, and a negative correlation (-0.47) between PIL and SONG scores indicates good convergent validity of the two instruments. Conclusion Italian versions of the PIL and SONG are adequate and reliable self-report instruments for evaluating purpose in life and the motivation to find purpose for cancer patient populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2775-2783
Number of pages9
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


  • Cancer
  • Logotherapy
  • Meaning in life
  • Psychological treatment
  • Validation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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