263675 Differing Psychometric Properties of an HIV Knowledge Scale Administered With Populations At High Risk for HIV Infection

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 9:15 AM - 9:30 AM

Willie H. Oglesby, PhD, MSPH, FACHE , College of Public Health, Kent State University, Kent, OH
Sonia Alemagno, PhD , College of Public Health, Kent State University, Kent, OH
Community-based HIV prevention program managers commonly use self-administered paper-and-pencil surveys and a pre-/post-test design to measure intervention effectiveness. These surveys routinely include questions about participants' knowledge of what puts them at risk for HIV infection, based on the theory-driven principle that knowledge is protective against HIV infection. Program managers who oversee large-scale (i.e., city-wide) HIV prevention programs that serve multiple high-risk populations often use the same survey instrument with all program participants. While this approach is advantageous for easier analysis and reporting, it could mask important variations in the survey's ability to reliably measure HIV knowledge across all of the program's priority populations. To assess the presence of this potential threat to the measurement of HIV knowledge in large-scale programs that use a single survey, psychometric analyses were conducted on program evaluation data that were collected as a part of a city-wide community-based HIV prevention program conducted in a Midwestern urban area from 2005-2009 (n=5,027). As expected, the analyses revealed important variations in the ability of the survey to measure HIV knowledge among high-risk priority populations. By sexual orientation, the scale performed better for heterosexual males and females combined, worse for Lesbians, but best overall for participants who identified as Transgender. By race/ethnicity, the scale performed better for Hispanics but worse for African Americans. By age group, the scale performed best for 50-59 year olds and worse for 19-24 year olds. Potential reasons for these differences and practical strategies to address them will be presented.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe survey items commonly used to measure HIV knowledge in broad, community-based prevention programs Explain the difficulty in developing a universal HIV knowledge scale for populations at highest risk for HIV infection Compare the internal consistency coefficients and principal component loadings of HIV knowledge items across populations at highest risk for HIV infection

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Minorities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a tenure-track faculty member with a career-total of more than $2,000,000 as PI or Co-PI from federal, state, and foundation funding sources on a variety of public health areas including HIV/STD, family planning, and adolescent health. I conducted the analysis for this paper.
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.