239013 Development of an instrument to assess sexual health among college freshmen

Monday, October 31, 2011

Chris Green, MPH , Department of Public Health, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
Sloane C. Burke, PhD, CHES , Department of Health Education and Promotion, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
Justin B. Moore, PhD, MS, FACSM , Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Monitoring college student sexual health remains crucial as sexually transmitted infection and unintended pregnancy rates rise in the United States. Administration of reliable surveys is important for identifying behavioral shifts associated with poor sexual health outcomes and intervening appropriately. This study was completed to develop an instrument using published literature, sexual health data, existing sexual health behavior surveys, expert opinion of content, and findings from college student focus groups.

The study protocol was based on Dillman's stages of pretesting. Steps were completed sequentially as follows: 1) College students (n = 10) participated in focus groups regarding sexual health risk behaviors; 2) College student opinions, literature, and existing survey instruments informed instrument revision; 3) Content experts reviewed and commented on the relevance and appropriateness of items; 4) College students (n = 122 of 386 eligible) participated in test-retest survey administration; 5) Survey variables were analyzed for significant differences and/or correlations between test periods; 6) Individuals unrelated to the study reviewed the final instrument to identify any overlooked problems.

Qualitative data collected through student focus groups and content expert review supported the survey face and content validity. Quantitative data, gathered from college students enrolled in a personal health course, supported the reliability and validity of the instrument. Test-retest results suggest strong internal reliability (α > .80 for all items) of survey items. Data gathered using this instrument 1) can be used to inform local interventions for improving sexual health and 2) is easily compared with data collected regionally or nationally.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the process of developing sexual health surveys for local college communities.

Keywords: Sexual Risk Behavior, College Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I oversee a multi-region network of HIV/AIDS prevention and care providers.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.