The invariance of the Preventive COVID-19 Infection Behaviors Scale (PCIBS) was evaluated in 12 Latin American countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay). A total of 5183 people from the aforementioned countries participated, selected using the snowball sampling method. Measurement invariance was assessed by multigroup confirmatory factor analysis (MG-CFA) and Multi-Group Factor Analysis Alignment (CFA-MIAL). In addition, item characteristics were assessed based on Item Response Theory. The results indicate that the original five-item version of the PCIBS is not adequate; whereas a four-item version of the PCIBS (PCIBS-4) showed a good fit in all countries. Thus, using the MG-CFA method, the PCIBS-4 achieved metric invariance, while the CFA-MIAL method indicated that the PCIBS-4 shows metric and scalar invariance. Likewise, the four items present increasing difficulties and high values in the discrimination parameters. The comparison of means of the PCIBS-4 reported irrelevant differences between countries; however, Mexico and Peru presented the highest frequency of preventive behaviors related to COVID-19. It is concluded that the PCIBS-4 is a unidimensional self-report measure which is reliable and invariant across the twelve participating Latin American countries. It is expected that the findings will be of interest to social and health scientists, as well as those professionals directly involved in public health decision making.
- Latin America
- preventive behaviors