The Natsal-SF measure of sexual function: comparison of three scoring methods

Jones, K. G., Mitchell, K. R. , Ploubidis, G. B., Wellings, K., Datta, J., Johnson, A. M. and Mercer, C. H. (2015) The Natsal-SF measure of sexual function: comparison of three scoring methods. Journal of Sex Research, 52(6), pp. 640-646. (doi: 10.1080/00224499.2014.985813) (PMID:25667952) (PMCID:PMC4536938)

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The Natsal-SF is a psychometrically validated measure of sexual function for use in community health surveys, derived from 17 questions reflecting three components of sexual function. Scoring requires knowledge of complex statistical modeling and, given the methodological complexities, we assessed the validity of two simplified scoring methods calculated using the factor loadings produced when originally modeling the Natsal-SF items. Method 1 uses these factor loadings to three decimal places, while method 2 assigns whole numbers to each item based on the factor loadings. Scores from these simplified methods are compared to the original score using correlation coefficients, by comparing the distributions and the scores of each method in a linear regression model with key variables. We found scores from the simplified methods both correlate highly with the original score, and the distributions of scores closely match. The simplified methods result in different regression coefficients for gender and relationship context but estimate the coefficients of all other variables similarly to the original method. While the Natsal-SF should ideally be scored using latent variable modeling, the simplified methods perform well so can be used in similar contexts, increasing the utility of the Natsal-SF and enabling future studies to measure sexual function more comprehensively.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mitchell, Professor Kirstin
Authors: Jones, K. G., Mitchell, K. R., Ploubidis, G. B., Wellings, K., Datta, J., Johnson, A. M., and Mercer, C. H.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Journal of Sex Research
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN (Online):1559-8519
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Sex Research 52(6):640-646
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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