A preliminary validation of the Brief COPE instrument for assessing coping strategies among people living with HIV in China

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Abstract

Background: The Brief COPE instrument has been utilized to conduct research on various populations, including people living with HIV (PLWH). However, the questionnaire constructs when applied to PLWH have not been subjected to thorough factor validation. Methods: A total of 258 PLWH were recruited from two provinces of China. They answered questions involving the scales of three instruments: the Brief COPE, the Perceived Social Support Scale, and the Perceived Discrimination Scale for PLWH. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and exploratory factor analysis (EFA) were conducted. Results: The CFA found a poor goodness of fit to the data. The subsequent EFA identified six preliminary factors, forming subscales with Cronbach's alphas, which ranged from 0.61 to 0.80. Significant correlation coefficients between the subscales and measures of perceived social support and perceived discrimination were reported, giving preliminary support to the validity of the new empirical factor structure. Conclusion: This study showed that the original factor structure of the Brief COPE instrument, when applied to PLWH in China, did not fit the data. Thus, the Brief COPE should be applied to various populations and cultures with caution. The new factor structure established by the EFA is only preliminary and requires further validation.

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Su, X. you, Lau, J. T. F., Mak, W. W. S., Choi, K. C., Feng, T. jian, Chen, X., … Cheng, J. quan. (2015). A preliminary validation of the Brief COPE instrument for assessing coping strategies among people living with HIV in China. Infectious Diseases of Poverty, 4(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40249-015-0074-9

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