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Development of a 12-item short version of the HIV stigma scale

Reinius, M., Wettergren, L., Wiklander, M. , Svedhem, V., Ekström, A. M. & Eriksson, L. E. (2017). Development of a 12-item short version of the HIV stigma scale. Health Qual Life Outcomes, 15(1), article number 115. doi: 10.1186/s12955-017-0691-z


BACKGROUND: Valid and reliable instruments for the measurement of enacted, anticipated and internalised stigma in people living with HIV are crucial for mapping trends in the prevalence of HIV-related stigma and tracking the effectiveness of stigma-reducing interventions. Although longer instruments exist, e.g., the commonly used 40-item HIV Stigma Scale by Berger et al., a shorter instrument would be preferable to facilitate the inclusion of HIV stigma in more and broader surveys. Therefore, the aim of this work was to develop a substantially shorter, but still valid, version of the HIV Stigma Scale.

METHODS: Data from a psychometric evaluation of the Swedish 40-item HIV Stigma Scale were reanalysed to create a short version with 12 items (three from each of the four stigma subscales: personalised stigma, disclosure concerns, concerns with public attitudes and negative self-image). The short version of the HIV stigma scale was then psychometrically tested using data from a national survey investigating stigma and quality of life among people living with HIV in Sweden (n = 880, mean age 47.9 years, 26% female).

RESULTS: The hypothesized factor structure of the proposed short version was replicated in exploratory factor analysis without cross loadings and confirmatory factor analysis supported construct validity with high standardised effects (>0.7) of items on the intended scales. The χ(2) test was statistically significant (χ(2) = 154.2, df = 48, p < 0.001), but alternate fit measures indicated acceptable fit (comparative fit index: 0.963, Tucker-Lewis index: 0.950 and root mean square error of approximation: 0.071). Corrected item-total correlation coefficients were >0.4 for all items, with a variation indicating that the broadness of the concept of stigma had been captured. All but two aspects of HIV-related stigma that the instrument is intended to cover were captured by the selected items in the short version. The aspects that did not lose any items were judged to have acceptable psychometric properties. The short version of the instrument showed higher floor and ceiling effects than the full-length scale, indicating a loss of sensitivity in the short version. Cronbach's α for the subscales were all >0.7.

CONCLUSIONS: Although being less sensitive in measurement, the proposed 12-item short version of the HIV Stigma Scale has comparable psychometric properties to the full-length scale and may be used when a shorter instrument is needed.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: HIV, Instrument, Nursing, Patient-reported outcome measures, Psychometrics, Short-form, Stigma
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Nursing
SWORD Depositor:
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