Development of a comprehensive sexually transmitted disease knowledge questionnaire

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Michael P. Carey

Second Advisor

Michael P. Carey


Knowledge questionnaire, Sexually transmitted diseases

Subject Categories

Clinical Psychology | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Sexually transmitted disease (STD) education in the past 2 decades has focused primarily on HIV to the detriment of broader STD education. The purpose of this study was to develop an up-to-date, comprehensive Sexually Transmitted Disease Knowledge Questionnaire (STD-KQ) for use with an at-risk population, college students, in research and applied settings. Questionnaire construction involved input from research, STD experts (N = 6) and the target population (N = 40). Qualitative and quantitative reviews were performed. The questionnaire was piloted (N = 50) and tested on a large-scale sample (N = 391) of diverse college students. Item- and test-level analyses informed modifications to the questionnaire. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses indicated a two-factor model of STD knowledge, including a Cause/Cure factor and a General Knowledge factor. Six supplemental items were added to the final questionnaire for their public health value and resulted in the 27-item STD-KQ. The questionnaire demonstrated excellent internal consistency (α = .86) and test-retest reliability (r = .88) over a brief period. Support for the construct validity of the questionnaire was provided through a number of activities and evidence of convergent validity was provided through a comparison with a previously validated, HIV-specific knowledge questionnaire (Carey & Schroder, 2002). Treatment outcome sensitivity was demonstrated by students' (N = 80) responses to a brief STD educational program. Use of the STD-KQ will enable researchers and health educators to identify students' STD knowledge deficits, evaluate risk reduction programs and assess treatment response in research and applied settings. The STD-KQ may also serve as a measure of STD knowledge in theoretical research.