Reliability and consistency of a validated sun exposure questionnaire in a population-based Danish sample
An important feature of questionnaire validation is reliability. To be able to measure a given concept by questionnaire validly, the reliability needs to be high. The objectives of this study were to examine reliability of attitude and knowledge and behavioral consistency of sunburn in a developed questionnaire for monitoring and evaluating population sun-related behavior. Sun related behavior, attitude and knowledge was measured weekly by a questionnaire in the summer of 2013 among 664 Danes. Reliability was tested in a test-retest design. Consistency of behavioral information was tested similarly in a questionnaire adapted to measure behavior throughout the summer. The response rates for questionnaire 1, 2 and 3 were high and the drop out was not dependent on demographic characteristic. There was at least 73% agreement between sunburns in the measurement week and the entire summer, and a possible sunburn underestimation in questionnaires summarizing the entire summer. The participants underestimated their outdoor exposure in the evaluation covering the entire summer as compared to the measurement week. The reliability of scales measuring attitude and knowledge was high for majority of scales, while consistency in protection behavior was low. To our knowledge, this is the first study to report reliability for a completely validated questionnaire on sun-related behavior in a national random population based sample. Further, we show that attitude and knowledge questions confirmed their validity with good reliability, while consistency of protection behavior in general and in a week's measurement was low.