Background: The aim of the study was to develop and validate measures of awareness of symptoms and risk factors for ovarian and cervical cancer (Ovarian and Cervical Cancer Awareness Measures).
Methods: Potentially relevant items were extracted from the literature and generated by experts. Four validation studies were carried out to establish reliability and validity. Women aged 21-67 years (n=146) and ovarian and cervical cancer experts (n=32) were included in the studies. Internal reliability was assessed psychometrically. Test-retest reliability was assessed over a 1-week interval. To establish construct validity, Cancer Awareness Measure (CAM) scores of cancer experts were compared with equally well-educated comparison groups. Sensitivity to change was tested by randomly assigning participants to read either a leaflet giving information about ovarian/cervical cancer or a leaflet with control information, and then completing the ovarian/cervical CAM.
Results: Internal reliability (Cronbach's α=0.88 for the ovarian CAM and α=0.84 for the cervical CAM) and test-retest reliability (r=0.84 and r=0.77 for the ovarian and cervical CAMs, respectively) were both high. Validity was demonstrated with cancer experts achieving higher scores than controls [ovarian CAM: t(36)= -5.6, p<0.001; cervical CAM: t(38)= -3.7, p=0.001], and volunteers who were randomised to read a cancer leaflet scored higher than those who received a control leaflet [ovarian CAM: t(49)=7.5, p<0.001; cervical CAM: t(48)= -5.5, p<0.001].
Conclusions: This study demonstrates the psychometric properties of the ovarian and cervical CAMs and supports their utility in assessing ovarian and cervical cancer awareness in the general population.