The reliability and validity of a symptom checklist for use in HIV infection: A preliminary analysis.

A.P. Burgess, G. Irving, M. Riccio

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The aim of the study was to determine the reliability and validity of a self-report symptom checklist designed for use in HIV infection. One hundred and seventy-one gay men completed a 28-item symptom checklist which produces 3 dimensions: physical, cognitive and psychological. The validity of each dimension was examined by comparing scores on the checklist with indices of disease progression and previously validated psychological scales. People with more advanced HIV disease had higher scores on the physical and cognitive checklists, though the psychological scale was not related to disease stage. All the scales showed moderate correlations with measures of psychological health. Examination of individual item responses suggested that patients over-reported the presence of some symptoms. Although individual items should be interpreted with caution, the overall scores of the RSC are reliable and valid as measures of subjective health status in HIV infection. The importance of psychological factors in the reporting of symptoms suggests that symptom checklists should be interpreted in the light of adequate measures of psychological state
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-338
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Std and Aids
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1993


  • HIV
  • AIDS
  • psychiatry
  • mental health
  • reliability
  • validity


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