Internal validity and reliability of experience-based household food insecurity scales in Indian settings

Sethi, Vani, Maitra, Chandana, Avula, Rasmi, Unisa, Sayeed and Bhalla, Surbhi (2017) Internal validity and reliability of experience-based household food insecurity scales in Indian settings. Agriculture and Food Security, 6 1: . doi:10.1186/s40066-017-0099-3


Author Sethi, Vani
Maitra, Chandana
Avula, Rasmi
Unisa, Sayeed
Bhalla, Surbhi
Title Internal validity and reliability of experience-based household food insecurity scales in Indian settings
Journal name Agriculture and Food Security   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2048-7010
Publication date 2017-02-28
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1186/s40066-017-0099-3
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 6
Issue 1
Total pages 17
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central
Collection year 2018
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: Experience-based household food insecurity (HFI) scales are not included in large-scale Indian surveys. There is limited evidence on which experience-based HFI scale or questions within a scale are most relevant for India. Between 01 June and 31 August 2015, we reviewed 19 published and unpublished studies, conducted in India between January 2000 and June 2015, which used experience-based HFI scales. As part of this exercise, internal validity and reliability of the scale used in these studies was examined, field experiences of 31 researchers who used experience-based HFI scales in India were gathered and psychometric tests were conducted where raw data were available.

Results: Out of the 19 studies reviewed, HFI prevalence varied depending on the type of experience-based HFI scale used. Internal reliability across scales ranged between 0.75 and 0.94; however certain items ('balanced meal', 'preferred food', 'worried food would run out') had poor in-fit and out-fit statistics. To improve this, the following is suggested, based on review and experience of researchers: (1) cognitive testing of quality of diet items; (2) avoiding child-referenced items; (3) rigorous training of enumerators; (4) addition of 'how often' to avoid overestimation of food-insecure conditions; (5) splitting the cut and skip meal item and (6) using a standardized set of questions for aiding comparison of construct validity across scales.

Conclusions: An evidence-based policy dialogue is needed in India for contextualizing and harmonizing the experience-based HFI scales across multiple surveys to aid comparability over time, and support policy decision making.
Keyword Food security
Hunger
Reliability
Validity
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Economics Publications
 
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