Construction of a valid and reliable test to determine knowledge on dietary fat of higher-educated young adults

  • I Venter


Objective: The construction of a questionnaire, in the format of a test, to determine knowledge on dietary fat of higher-educated young adults. Design: The topics on dietary fat included were in accordance with those tested in other studies. Forty multiple-choice items were drafted as questions and incomplete statements following the item construction rules. The items were reviewed by nutrition and food science professionals for content- and face-related evidence (n = 4 respectively) and by students representing the study population for face-related evidence (n = 16) of validity. Twenty items were removed as the panel questioned their relevance and replaced with 17 items reviewed by them. The items now largely focused on food sources of fat. These 37 items formed the preliminary test that was administered to two groups of higher-education students expected to differ in nutrition knowledge level. The completed and scored items were statistically analysed to determine which items could be retained for the test. Items meeting the item analysis criteria formed the test. The Mann-Whitney statistic was used to determine the construct-related evidence of validity and the Kuder-Richardson (K-R) 20 formula for the reliability of the test. Results: The 37-item preliminary test was completed by 99 and 87 students respectively forming the knowledgeable and less knowledgeable groups. Eighteen items remained after the statistical item analysis. Eight items did not meet the difficulty and discrimination index criteria respectively, nine the item-to-total correlation criteria and 13 the answer distribution criteria. The 18-item test was found to be reliable (K-R20 = 0.8997), as well as valid, since a significant difference (p < 0.001) in knowledge was found between the groups in the expected direction. Conclusion: The test can be used to compare the knowledge scores of groups and of individuals as it met the reliability coefficient of 0.75 and 0.85 respectively to make such score decisions.

SAJCN Vol. 21 (3) 2008: pp. 133-139

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2078-6204
print ISSN: 2078-6190