Development of the Scale of Perceived Social Support in HIV (PSS-HIV)

Aaron Cortes*, Nigel Hunt, Sue McHale

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Social support (SS) plays a key role for HIV/AIDS prevention and disease management. Numerous general and disease-specific SS instruments have been developed and perception of support has been increasingly considered, though no scales have been specifically developed to measure perceived social support (PSS) in HIV/AIDS. To help fill this gap a 12-item scale was developed. The study comprised 406 (HIV(+) and HIV(−)) participants from Chile and the UK. A principal component factor analysis yielded three factors explaining 77.0 % of the total variance: Belonging, Esteem and Self-development with Cronbach α of 0.759, 0.882 and 0.927 respectively and 0.893 on the full scale. The PSS-HIV is brief, easy-to-apply, available in English and Spanish and evaluates the perception of supportive social interactions. Further research is needed to corroborate its capacity to detect psycho–socio–immune interactions, its connection with Maslow’s hierarchy of need theory and to evaluate its properties for different health states.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2274-2284
Number of pages11
JournalAIDS and Behavior
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This research was funded by the Chilean Government through the Development for Human Capital Programme from the National commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT; from Spanish acronym) and supported by the Clinical Research Support Office (OAIC; from Spanish acronym) of the Universidad de Chile Clinical Hospital. We wish to thank the participants from the UK and Chile; for the time devoted and their kind contribution to the study. It is important to acknowledge the contribution of the board of directors of the Derbyshire Positive Support, who collaborated pro bono and actively.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Biopsychosocial
  • Factor analysis
  • Perceived social support
  • Scale development


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