The CSS-12: Development and validation of a short-form version of the cyberchondria severity scale

Eoin McElroy, Matthew Kearney, Jade Touhey, Joseph Evans, Yasmin Cooke, M Shevlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Cyberchondria is defined as an increase in anxiety about one's health status as a result of excessive online searches. McElroy and Shevlin (2014) developed the first multidimensional, self-report measure of this construct-the Cyberchondria Severity Scale (CSS). The CSS consists of 33 items which can be summed to form a total score, and/or 5 subscale scores. The aim of the present study was to develop a short-form version of the CSS, removing the "Mistrust" subscale. Participants were undergraduate students from two UK universities (N = 661, 73% female, M age = 22.19 years, SD = 5.88). Students completed the CSS, Short Health Anxiety Inventory (SHAI) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder Assessment (GAD-7). Twelve items were chosen for retention in the short form based on an exploratory factor analysis. These items corresponded to the four factors previously identified in the 33-item scale (minus the "Mistrust" subscale). Confirmatory factor analysis was used to validate the structure of the CSS-12. Confirmatory bifactor modeling indicated that the majority of item covariance was accounted for by a general cyberchondria factor. Construct validity was assessed by examining associations with the SHAI and GAD-7, with stronger correlations observed between the CSS-12 and the SHAI (compared with the GAD-7). The CSS-12 is a brief, reliable, and valid measure of worry/anxiety attributable to excessive online health research.

LanguageEnglish
Pages330-335
Number of pages6
JournalCyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
Volume22
Issue number5
Early online date23 Apr 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019

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Anxiety
Health
anxiety
Factor analysis
Equipment and Supplies
Statistical Factor Analysis
health
factor analysis
Students
Anxiety Disorders
Self Report
Health Status
construct validity
health status
student
Research
university

Keywords

  • Cyberchondria, health anxiety, self-diagnosis, general anxiety
  • health anxiety,
  • self-diagnosis,
  • general anxiety
  • self-diagnosis
  • cyberchondria
  • health anxiety

Cite this

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abstract = "Cyberchondria is defined as an increase in anxiety about one's health status as a result of excessive online searches. McElroy and Shevlin (2014) developed the first multidimensional, self-report measure of this construct-the Cyberchondria Severity Scale (CSS). The CSS consists of 33 items which can be summed to form a total score, and/or 5 subscale scores. The aim of the present study was to develop a short-form version of the CSS, removing the {"}Mistrust{"} subscale. Participants were undergraduate students from two UK universities (N = 661, 73{\%} female, M age = 22.19 years, SD = 5.88). Students completed the CSS, Short Health Anxiety Inventory (SHAI) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder Assessment (GAD-7). Twelve items were chosen for retention in the short form based on an exploratory factor analysis. These items corresponded to the four factors previously identified in the 33-item scale (minus the {"}Mistrust{"} subscale). Confirmatory factor analysis was used to validate the structure of the CSS-12. Confirmatory bifactor modeling indicated that the majority of item covariance was accounted for by a general cyberchondria factor. Construct validity was assessed by examining associations with the SHAI and GAD-7, with stronger correlations observed between the CSS-12 and the SHAI (compared with the GAD-7). The CSS-12 is a brief, reliable, and valid measure of worry/anxiety attributable to excessive online health research.",
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The CSS-12: Development and validation of a short-form version of the cyberchondria severity scale. / McElroy, Eoin ; Kearney, Matthew; Touhey, Jade ; Evans, Joseph ; Cooke, Yasmin; Shevlin, M.

In: Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, Vol. 22, No. 5, 01.05.2019, p. 330-335.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Kearney, Matthew

AU - Touhey, Jade

AU - Evans, Joseph

AU - Cooke, Yasmin

AU - Shevlin, M

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