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Absence of social desirability bias in the evaluation of chronic disease self-management interventions

Nolte, Sandra, Elsworth, Gerald R. and Osborne, Richard H. 2013, Absence of social desirability bias in the evaluation of chronic disease self-management interventions, Health and quality of life outcomes, vol. 11, pp. 1-9, doi: 10.1186/1477-7525-11-114.

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Title Absence of social desirability bias in the evaluation of chronic disease self-management interventions
Author(s) Nolte, Sandra
Elsworth, Gerald R.
Osborne, Richard H.ORCID iD for Osborne, Richard H. orcid.org/0000-0002-9081-2699
Journal name Health and quality of life outcomes
Volume number 11
Article ID 114
Start page 1
End page 9
Total pages 9
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2013-07-08
ISSN 1477-7525
Keyword(s) Adolescent
Adult
Aged
Aged, 80 and over
Chronic Disease
Female
Humans
Male
Middle Aged
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Program Evaluation
Self Care
Social Desirability
Surveys and Questionnaires
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Health Care Sciences & Services
Health Policy & Services
Patient education
Chronic disease self-management
Structural equation modeling
Statistical bias
Summary BACKGROUND: Bias due to social desirability has long been of concern to evaluators relying on self-report data. It is conceivable that health program evaluation is particularly susceptible to social desirability bias as individuals may be inclined to present themselves or certain health behaviors in a more positive light and/or appease the course leader. Thus, the influence of social desirability bias on self-report outcomes was explored in the present study.

METHODS: Data were collected from 331 participants of group-based chronic disease self-management interventions using the highly robust eight-scale Health Education Impact Questionnaire (heiQ) and the 13-item short form Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale (MC-C). The majority of self-management courses were run by community-based organizations across Australia between February 2005 and December 2006 where 6 to 12 individuals have the opportunity to develop considerable rapport with course leaders and each other over about six weeks. Pre-test data were collected on the first day of courses, while post-test and social desirability scores were assessed at the end of courses. A model of partial mediation within the framework of structural equation modeling was developed with social desirability as the mediating variable between pre-test and post-test.

RESULTS: The 'Defensiveness' factor of the MC-C showed clear association with heiQ pre-test data, a prerequisite for investigating mediation; however, when investigating the eight full pre-test/post-test models 'Defensiveness' was only associated with one heiQ scale. This effect was small, explaining 8% of the variance in the model. No other meditational effects through social desirability were observed.

CONCLUSIONS: The overall lack of association of social desirability with heiQ outcomes was surprising as it had been expected that it would explain at least some of the variance observed between pre-test and post-test. With the assumption that the MC-C captures the propensity for an individual to provide socially desirable answers, this study concludes that change scores in chronic disease self-management program evaluation are not biased by social desirability.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/1477-7525-11-114
Field of Research 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
1117 Public Health And Health Services
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2013, Nolte et al.
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30073269

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.