Use of cognitive interviewing in the development of a Spanish language genetic knowledge instrument

Gia T Mudd, The University of Texas School of Nursing at Houston


Study purpose. Genetic advances are significantly impacting healthcare, yet recent studies of ethnic group participation in genetic services demonstrate low utilization rates by Latinos. Limited genetic knowledge is a major barrier. The purpose of this study was to field test items in a Spanish-language instrument that will be used to measure genetic knowledge relevant to type 2 diabetes among members of the ethnically heterogeneous U.S. Latino community. Accurate genetic knowledge measurement can provide the foundation for interventions to enhance genetic service utilization. Design. Three waves of cognitive interviews were conducted in Spanish to field test 44 instrument items Thirty-six Latinos, with 12 persons representative of Mexican, Central and South American, and Cuban heritage participated, including 7 males and 29 females between 22 and 60 years of age; 17 participants had 12 years or less of education. Methods. Text narratives from transcriptions of audiotaped interviews were qualitatively analyzed using a coding strategy to indicate potential sources of response error. Through an iterative process of instrument refinement, codes that emerged from the data were used to guide item revisions at the conclusion of each phase; revised items were examined in subsequent interview waves. Results. Inter-cultural and cross-cultural themes associated with difficulties in interpretation and grammatical structuring of items were identified; difficulties associated with comprehension reflected variations in educational level. Of the original 44 items, 32 were retained, 89% of which were revised. Six additional items reflective of cultural knowledge were constructed, resulting in a 38-item instrument. Conclusions. Use of cognitive interviewing provided a valuable tool for detecting both potential sources of response error and cultural variations in these sources. Analysis of interview data guided successive instrument revisions leading to improved item interpretability and comprehension. Although testing in a larger sample will be essential to test validity and reliability, the outcome of field testing suggests initial content validity of a Spanish-language instrument to measure genetic knowledge relative to type 2 diabetes. Keywords. Latinos, genetic knowledge, instrument development, cognitive interviewing

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Recommended Citation

Mudd, Gia T, "Use of cognitive interviewing in the development of a Spanish language genetic knowledge instrument" (2007). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3308878.