Personal hygiene among military personnel: developing and testing a self-administered scale.
OBJECTIVE: Good personal hygiene (PH) behavior is recommended to prevent contagious diseases, and members of military forces may be at high risk for contracting contagious diseases. The aim of this study was to develop and test a new questionnaire on PH for soldiers. METHODS: Participants were all male and from different military settings throughout Iran. Using a five-stage guideline, a panel of experts in the Persian language (Farsi) developed a 21-item self-administered questionnaire. Face and content validity of the first-draft items were assessed. The questionnaire was then translated and subsequently back-translated into English, and both the Farsi and English versions were tested in pilot studies. The consistency and stability of the questionnaire were tested using Cronbach's alpha and the test-retest strategy. The final scale was administered to a sample of 502 military personnel. Explanatory and confirmatory factor analyses evaluated the structure of the scale. Both the convergent and discriminative validity of the scale were also determined. RESULTS: Cronbach's alpha coefficients were >0.85. Principal component analysis demonstrated a uni-dimensional structure that explained 59 % of the variance in PH behaviors. Confirmatory factor analysis indicated a good fit (goodness-of-fit index = 0.902; comparative fitness index = 0.923; root mean square error of approximation = 0.0085). CONCLUSIONS: The results show that this new PH scale has solid psychometric properties for testing PH behaviors among an Iranian sample of military personnel. We conclude that this scale can be a useful tool for assessing PH behaviors in military personnel. Further research is needed to determine the scale's value in other countries and cultures.
Saffari, M; Koenig, HG; Pakpour, AH; Sanaeinasab, H; Jahan, HR; Sehlo, MG
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