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HIV/AIDS knowledge among men who have sex with men: applying the item response theory.

Gomes RR, Batista JR, Ceccato Md, Kerr LR, Guimarães MD - Rev Saude Publica (2014)

Bottom Line: Overall, the HIV/AIDS knowledge scores using Item Response Theory did not exceed 6.0 (scale 0-10), with mean and median values of 5.0 (SD = 0.9) and 5.3, respectively, with 40.7% of the sample with knowledge levels below the average.Item Response Theory analysis, which focuses on the individual properties of each item, allows measures to be obtained that do not vary or depend on the questionnaire, which provides better ascertainment and accuracy of knowledge scores.Valid and reliable scales are essential for monitoring HIV/AIDS knowledge among the men who have sex with men population over time and in different geographic regions, and this psychometric model brings this advantage.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Secretaria Municipal de Saúde de Belo Horizonte, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brasil.

ABSTRACT

Objective: To evaluate the level of HIV/AIDS knowledge among men who have sex with men in Brazil using the latent trait model estimated by Item Response Theory.

Methods: Multicenter, cross-sectional study, carried out in ten Brazilian cities between 2008 and 2009. Adult men who have sex with men were recruited (n = 3,746) through Respondent Driven Sampling. HIV/AIDS knowledge was ascertained through ten statements by face-to-face interview and latent scores were obtained through two-parameter logistic modeling (difficulty and discrimination) using Item Response Theory. Differential item functioning was used to examine each item characteristic curve by age and schooling.

Results: Overall, the HIV/AIDS knowledge scores using Item Response Theory did not exceed 6.0 (scale 0-10), with mean and median values of 5.0 (SD = 0.9) and 5.3, respectively, with 40.7% of the sample with knowledge levels below the average. Some beliefs still exist in this population regarding the transmission of the virus by insect bites, by using public restrooms, and by sharing utensils during meals. With regard to the difficulty and discrimination parameters, eight items were located below the mean of the scale and were considered very easy, and four items presented very low discrimination parameter (< 0.34). The absence of difficult items contributed to the inaccuracy of the measurement of knowledge among those with median level and above.

Conclusions: Item Response Theory analysis, which focuses on the individual properties of each item, allows measures to be obtained that do not vary or depend on the questionnaire, which provides better ascertainment and accuracy of knowledge scores. Valid and reliable scales are essential for monitoring HIV/AIDS knowledge among the men who have sex with men population over time and in different geographic regions, and this psychometric model brings this advantage.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Graphical representation of the items and HIV/AIDS knowledge scores.
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f03: Graphical representation of the items and HIV/AIDS knowledge scores.

Mentions: A macroscopic view of the item analysis in our sample is shown in Figure 3, which simultaneously provides thetotal information curve, the curve of HIV/AIDS knowledge scores (IRT), and the totalobserved scores (CTT). In summary, the estimated latent knowledge among MSM waslimited by the parameters of the items, i.e., it more accurately measuredindividuals with lower knowledge but little differentiation was obtained among thosewith median or high knowledge levels.


HIV/AIDS knowledge among men who have sex with men: applying the item response theory.

Gomes RR, Batista JR, Ceccato Md, Kerr LR, Guimarães MD - Rev Saude Publica (2014)

Graphical representation of the items and HIV/AIDS knowledge scores.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4206150&req=5

f03: Graphical representation of the items and HIV/AIDS knowledge scores.
Mentions: A macroscopic view of the item analysis in our sample is shown in Figure 3, which simultaneously provides thetotal information curve, the curve of HIV/AIDS knowledge scores (IRT), and the totalobserved scores (CTT). In summary, the estimated latent knowledge among MSM waslimited by the parameters of the items, i.e., it more accurately measuredindividuals with lower knowledge but little differentiation was obtained among thosewith median or high knowledge levels.

Bottom Line: Overall, the HIV/AIDS knowledge scores using Item Response Theory did not exceed 6.0 (scale 0-10), with mean and median values of 5.0 (SD = 0.9) and 5.3, respectively, with 40.7% of the sample with knowledge levels below the average.Item Response Theory analysis, which focuses on the individual properties of each item, allows measures to be obtained that do not vary or depend on the questionnaire, which provides better ascertainment and accuracy of knowledge scores.Valid and reliable scales are essential for monitoring HIV/AIDS knowledge among the men who have sex with men population over time and in different geographic regions, and this psychometric model brings this advantage.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Secretaria Municipal de Saúde de Belo Horizonte, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brasil.

ABSTRACT

Objective: To evaluate the level of HIV/AIDS knowledge among men who have sex with men in Brazil using the latent trait model estimated by Item Response Theory.

Methods: Multicenter, cross-sectional study, carried out in ten Brazilian cities between 2008 and 2009. Adult men who have sex with men were recruited (n = 3,746) through Respondent Driven Sampling. HIV/AIDS knowledge was ascertained through ten statements by face-to-face interview and latent scores were obtained through two-parameter logistic modeling (difficulty and discrimination) using Item Response Theory. Differential item functioning was used to examine each item characteristic curve by age and schooling.

Results: Overall, the HIV/AIDS knowledge scores using Item Response Theory did not exceed 6.0 (scale 0-10), with mean and median values of 5.0 (SD = 0.9) and 5.3, respectively, with 40.7% of the sample with knowledge levels below the average. Some beliefs still exist in this population regarding the transmission of the virus by insect bites, by using public restrooms, and by sharing utensils during meals. With regard to the difficulty and discrimination parameters, eight items were located below the mean of the scale and were considered very easy, and four items presented very low discrimination parameter (< 0.34). The absence of difficult items contributed to the inaccuracy of the measurement of knowledge among those with median level and above.

Conclusions: Item Response Theory analysis, which focuses on the individual properties of each item, allows measures to be obtained that do not vary or depend on the questionnaire, which provides better ascertainment and accuracy of knowledge scores. Valid and reliable scales are essential for monitoring HIV/AIDS knowledge among the men who have sex with men population over time and in different geographic regions, and this psychometric model brings this advantage.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus