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  • HIV/AIDS Education
  • HIV
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
  • Ambati Questionnaire
  • Directory and Repository of Educational Assessment Measures

Critical Synthesis Package: Ambati Questionnaire on Knowledge and Attitudes toward HIV/AIDS


Journal Title:

MedEdPORTAL Publications


Volume 9


Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


This resource contains two parts: 1) a Critical Analysis of the psychometric properties and application to healthcare education of the Ambati Questionnaire on Knowledge and Attitudes toward HIV/AIDS (AQ), and 2) a copy of the AQ instrument developed by Balamurali Ambati, MD, PhD. The Ambati Questionnaire on Knowledge and Attitudes toward HIV/AIDS (AQ) is a self-report survey to measure knowledge and attitudes about AIDS patients and issues. The AQ is consists of 48 selected response items: 6 items measuring knowledge of the signs and symptoms of the disease, 12 knowledge items about transmission of HIV, and 30 items about attitudes towards HIV/AIDS patients. All items use a “yes,” “no,” or “I don’t know” response scale with “I don’t know” responses excluded from scoring. There is no scoring guide or technical manual available. Little data on internal or test-retest reliability has been published and there has been no evidence produced to establish construct or external validity of the instrument. The norming sample was heterogeneous, so applications of the instrument to healthcare education are limited. Subsequent uses of the AQ have not significantly augmented the data or psychometric support for the instrument. The AQ needs extensive work to establish validity evidence and it should be normed to a well-defined population before recommending its use in healthcare education. The Ambati Questionnaire on Knowledge and Attitudes toward HIV/AIDS (AQ) was created based on the developers’ judgment of items that would measure the intended constructs. In the only manuscript available in MedLine journals written by the developers (Ambati B, Ambati J, Rao A. Dynamics of knowledge and attitudes about AIDS among the educated in southern India. AIDS Care. 1997 June;9(3): 319-330.), there is no reference to prior instruments or frameworks used in development. The AQ is simple to understand, administer, and score but the evidence for validity of the AQ is circumstantial. Neither the developers nor subsequent users established grounds for either construct validity or external validity of the instrument. Reporting of reliability is sketchy and the few calculated alpha coefficients are low. The “hostility index” (1) is unsupported and should not be used. The lack of technical manual or a scoring guide severely inhibits further development of the instrument for use in scholarly inquiry. Prior to using the AQ, all items used should be reviewed for validity, particularly in view of the changing social context for knowledge about of HIV/AIDS and perceptions of HIV/AIDS patients. The AQ should to be normed with a well-defined population which will allow for meaningful comparisons across time and location.

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This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/).

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