Psychometric Properties of the 3-Item Oslo Social Support Scale among Clinical Students of Bayero University Kano, Nigeria

Abiola T, Udofia O, Zakari M


Background: Several researchers have shown that the type of social support available to individuals can predict their mental wellbeing. Many standard measures of social support abound in Euro-American societies but none has been validated for use in Nigeria. The aim of this study is to demonstrate the internal consistency and concurrent validity of Oslo 3-item Social Support (OSS-3) scale in a Nigerian population.

Methods: The study was conducted among Clinical students of Bayero University Medical School (N=70). The Oslo 3-item Social Support (OSS-3) scale and the depression sub-scale of the Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale (HADS) were administered to each of the participants. The HADS scores were compared across different subgroups of OSS-3 and psychometric properties of internal reliability, and concurrent and discriminate validities were assessed using SPSS version 16.

Results: The participants were between 18 and 34 years of age with mean O3SS score of 11.70. Females had (11.95) higher mean scores than males (11.58). The internal consistency of OSS-3 was low with a Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of 0.50. The concurrent validity of OSS-3 with the depression sub-scale of Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale (HADS) was low but significant and inversely related (r = -0.3; p = 0.011). The discriminate validity was good and was shown by the significant difference between mean OSS-3 of HADS-depression sub-scale cases compared to non-cases (t-test = 6.710; p = <0.0001).

Conclusion: We concluded that the OSS-3 is a potential measuring scale useful in determining range of social support available in these Nigerians.

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Psychometric properties; Oslo Social Support; Clinical Students; Kano; Nigeria

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