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J Fam Plann Reprod Health Care. 2012 Jul;38(3):167-74. doi: 10.1136/jfprhc-2011-100118. Epub 2011 Sep 20.

Ovarian and cervical cancer awareness: development of two validated measurement tools.

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  • 1Institute of Women's Health, University College London, London, UK.



The aim of the study was to develop and validate measures of awareness of symptoms and risk factors for ovarian and cervical cancer (Ovarian and Cervical Cancer Awareness Measures).


Potentially relevant items were extracted from the literature and generated by experts. Four validation studies were carried out to establish reliability and validity. Women aged 21-67 years (n=146) and ovarian and cervical cancer experts (n=32) were included in the studies. Internal reliability was assessed psychometrically. Test-retest reliability was assessed over a 1-week interval. To establish construct validity, Cancer Awareness Measure (CAM) scores of cancer experts were compared with equally well-educated comparison groups. Sensitivity to change was tested by randomly assigning participants to read either a leaflet giving information about ovarian/cervical cancer or a leaflet with control information, and then completing the ovarian/cervical CAM.


Internal reliability (Cronbach's α=0.88 for the ovarian CAM and α=0.84 for the cervical CAM) and test-retest reliability (r=0.84 and r=0.77 for the ovarian and cervical CAMs, respectively) were both high. Validity was demonstrated with cancer experts achieving higher scores than controls [ovarian CAM: t(36)= -5.6, p<0.001; cervical CAM: t(38)= -3.7, p=0.001], and volunteers who were randomised to read a cancer leaflet scored higher than those who received a control leaflet [ovarian CAM: t(49)=7.5, p<0.001; cervical CAM: t(48)= -5.5, p<0.001].


This study demonstrates the psychometric properties of the ovarian and cervical CAMs and supports their utility in assessing ovarian and cervical cancer awareness in the general population.

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