Searchable Title

Social Media Competency Inventory (appears in: Designing and Testing an Inventory for Measuring Social Media Competency of Certified Health Education Specialists.) Copyright: Creative Commons License.

Reference Type

Journal Article

Authors, Section

Alber, J. M.; Bernhardt, J. M.; Stellefson, M.; Weiler, R. M.; Anderson-Lewis, C.; Miller, M. D.; MacInnes, J.

Title, Section

Social Media Competency Inventory (appears in: Designing and Testing an Inventory for Measuring Social Media Competency of Certified Health Education Specialists.) Copyright: Creative Commons License.

Publication Year


Journal Title

Journal of Medical Internet Research










PMID: 26399428




Full text Instrument in Appendix 1 PDF. BACKGROUND: Social media can promote healthy behaviors by facilitating engagement and collaboration among health professionals and the public. Thus, social media is quickly becoming a vital tool for health promotion. While guidelines and trainings exist for public health professionals, there are currently no standardized measures to assess individual social media competency among Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES) and Master Certified Health Education Specialists (MCHES). OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to design, develop, and test the Social Media Competency Inventory (SMCI) for CHES and MCHES. METHODS: The SMCI was designed in three sequential phases: (1) Conceptualization and Domain Specifications, (2) Item Development, and (3) Inventory Testing and Finalization. Phase 1 consisted of a literature review, concept operationalization, and expert reviews. Phase 2 involved an expert panel (n=4) review, think-aloud sessions with a small representative sample of CHES/MCHES (n=10), a pilot test (n=36), and classical test theory analyses to develop the initial version of the SMCI. Phase 3 included a field test of the SMCI with a random sample of CHES and MCHES (n=353), factor and Rasch analyses, and development of SMCI administration and interpretation guidelines. RESULTS: Six constructs adapted from the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology and the integrated behavioral model were identified for assessing social media competency: (1) Social Media Self-Efficacy, (2) Social Media Experience, (3) Effort Expectancy, (4) Performance Expectancy, (5) Facilitating Conditions, and (6) Social Influence. The initial item pool included 148 items. After the pilot test, 16 items were removed or revised because of low item discrimination (r<.30), high interitem correlations (Ρ>.90), or based on feedback received from pilot participants. During the psychometric analysis of the field test data, 52 items were removed due to low discrimination, evidence of content redundancy, low R-squared value, or poor item infit or outfit. Psychometric analyses of the data revealed acceptable reliability evidence for the following scales: Social Media Self-Efficacy (alpha=.98, item reliability=.98, item separation=6.76), Social Media Experience (alpha=.98, item reliability=.98, item separation=6.24), Effort Expectancy(alpha =.74, item reliability=.95, item separation=4.15), Performance Expectancy (alpha =.81, item reliability=.99, item separation=10.09), Facilitating Conditions (alpha =.66, item reliability=.99, item separation=16.04), and Social Influence (alpha =.66, item reliability=.93, item separation=3.77). There was some evidence of local dependence among the scales, with several observed residual correlations above |.20|. CONCLUSIONS: Through the multistage instrument-development process, sufficient reliability and validity evidence was collected in support of the purpose and intended use of the SMCI. The SMCI can be used to assess the readiness of health education specialists to effectively use social media for health promotion research and practice. Future research should explore associations across constructs within the SMCI and evaluate the ability of SMCI scores to predict social media use and performance among CHES and MCHES.