Objectives: To develop and validate a risky sexual behavior index specific to cervical cancer research.
Methods: Sexual behavior data on 428 women from the Community Awareness Resources and Education (CARE) study were utilized. A weighting scheme for eight risky sexual behaviors was generated and validated in creating the CARE Risky Sexual Behavior Index. Cutpoints were then identified to classify women as having a low, medium, or high level of risky sexual behavior.
Results: Index scores ranged from 0 to 35, with women considered to have a low level of risky sexual behavior if their score was less than six (31.3% of sample), a medium level if their score was 6–10 (30.6%), or a high level if their score was 11 or greater (38.1%). A strong association was observed between the created categories and having a previous abnormal Pap smear test (p < 0.001).
Conclusions: The CARE Risky Sexual Behavior Index provides a tool for measuring risky sexual behavior level for cervical cancer research. Future studies are needed to validate this index in varied populations and test its use in the clinical setting.