An examination of the 3-factor model and structural invariance across racial/ethnic groups for the FACIT-Sp: a report from the American Cancer Society's Study of Cancer Survivors-II (SCS-II)



Objectives: Recent confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) of the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy—Spiritual Well-Being (FACIT-Sp) Scale in a sample of predominantly white women demonstrated that three factors, Meaning, Peace, and Faith, represented a psychometric improvement over the original 2-factor model. The present study tested these findings in a more diverse sample, assessed the stability of the model across racial/ethnic groups, and tested the contribution of a new item.

Methods: In a study by the American Cancer Society, 8805 cancer survivors provided responses on the FACIT-Sp, which we tested using CFA.

Results: A 3-factor model provided a better fit to the data than the 2-factor model in the sample as a whole and in the racial/ethnic subgroups (Δχ2, p<0.001, for all comparisons), but was not invariant across the groups. The model with equal parameters for racial/ethnic groups was a poorer fit to the data than a model that allowed these parameters to vary (Δχ2(81)=2440.54, p<0.001), suggesting that items and their associated constructs might be understood differently across racial/ethnic groups. The new item improved the model fit and loaded on the Faith factor.

Conclusions: The 3-factor model is likely to provide more specific information for studies in the field. In the construction of scales for use with diverse samples, researchers need to pay greater attention to racial/ethnic differences in interpretation of items. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.