Influence of Measurement Errors on HIV Risk Behavior Analysis: A Case Study Examining Condom Use Among Drug Users

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Multiple indicators of HIV risk behaviors are not yet well developed in the field of drug abuse and AIDS prevention, with most research relying on single‐item measures. Weak or inconclusive statistical analyses often result from measurement errors. This study illustrates the problems of biased statistical estimates when single‐item measures with measurement errors are used. Using HIV risk behaviors among injection drug users as an example, this study shows the impact of measurement error on statistical results in path analysis. The results suggest that more attention is needed to address the issue of measurement reliability in survey data. Measurement error should be taken into account in analyzing HIV risk behaviors, and appropriate multiple indicators for a full range of HIV risk behaviors should be developed to deal successfully with the “errors‐in‐variables” problem.



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