Evaluating the Reliability and Validity of the Short Gambling Harm Screen: Are Binary Scales worse than Likert Scales at capturing Gambling Harm?
Keywords:gambling harm, Short Gambling Harm Screen (SGHS), forced-choice binary, dichotomous scale, binary scale, Likert scale comparison, Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI)
Gambling-related harm has become a key metric for measuring the adverse consequences of gambling on a population level. Yet, despite this renewed understanding in contemporary research, little exploration has been conducted to evaluate which instrument is best suited to capture the harmful consequences of gambling. This study was designed with the aim of determining whether Likert scales were better suited to capture gambling harm than binary scales. We hypothesized that the Short Gambling Harm Screen (SGHS), initially scored using a binary scale, would perform similarly to the alternate form that was Likertized for the purpose of this study. A corresponding comparison in the reverse direction was executed for the Problem Gambling Severity Index. The SGHS’s performance was assessed via a repeated-measures design in combination with three other measures of validity administered at the conclusion of the survey. In the end, we found that changing the scoring format (i.e., from binary to Likert) had negligible impact on the SGHS’s psychometric performance. We conclude that the original scoring method of the SGHS is not only appropriate but also no less suitable than Likert scales in measuring gambling harm.
Les dommages liés au jeu sont devenus une mesure clé pour évaluer les conséquences néfastes du jeu à l’échelle de la population. Pourtant, malgré cette compréhension renouvelée dans la recherche contemporaine, on effectue très peu d’exploration pour évaluer quel instrument est le mieux adapté pour comprendre les conséquences néfastes du jeu. Cette étude a été conçue dans le but de déterminer si les échelles de Likert étaient mieux adaptées que les échelles binaires pour saisir les dommages liés au jeu. Nous avons émis l’hypothèse que le dépistage rapide du jeu problématique (Short Gambling Harm Screen ou SGHS), initialement évalué à l’aide d’une échelle binaire, ne fonctionnera pas différemment de la forme de Likert alternative qui a été créée aux fins de cette étude. Une comparaison correspondante dans la direction inverse a été effectuée pour l'indice de gravité du jeu excessif (PGSI). Les performances du SGHS ont été évaluées par un plan de mesures répétées, combinés à trois autres mesures de validité administrées à la fin du sondage. En fin de compte, nous avons constaté que le changement du format de pointage (c.-à-d. du binaire au Likert) avait un impact négligeable sur le rendement psychométrique du SGHS. Nous concluons que la méthode de pointage originale du SGHS est non seulement appropriée, mais également non moins appropriée que les échelles de Likert pour évaluer les dommages liés au jeu.
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