Open Access Open Badges Research article

Is a prostate cancer screening anxiety measure invariant across two different samples of age-appropriate men?

Suzanne K Linder12*, Paul R Swank3, Sally W Vernon2, Robert O Morgan2, Patricia D Mullen2 and Robert J Volk1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of General Internal Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA

2 School of Public Health, The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, TX, USA

3 School of Medicine, The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, TX, USA

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BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making 2012, 12:52  doi:10.1186/1472-6947-12-52

Published: 8 June 2012



In order to explore the influence of anxiety on decision–making processes, valid anxiety measures are needed. We evaluated a prostate cancer screening (PCS) anxiety scale that measures anxiety related to the prostate–specific antigen (PSA) test, the digital rectal examination (DRE), and the decision to undergo PCS (PCS-D) using two samples in different settings.


We assessed four psychometric properties of the scale using baseline data from a randomized, controlled decision aid trial (n = 301, private clinic; n = 149, public).


The 3-factor measure had adequate internal consistency reliability, construct validity, and discriminant validity. Confirmatory factor analyses indicated that the 3–factor model did not have adequate fit. When subscales were considered separately, only the 6–item PCS-D anxiety measure had adequate fit and was invariant across clinics.


Our results support the use of a 6–item PCS-D anxiety measure with age-appropriate men in public and private settings. The development of unique anxiety items relating to the PSA test and DRE is still needed.