Structure of the UWES-S
The 17-item UWES-S is a self-administered questionnaire (SAQ) with six, five, and six items assessing VI, DE and AB subscales respectively, measured on a seven-point Likert scale anchored by the response options from 0 (never) to 6 (every day).
Translation and pre-testing of the UWES-S
The 17-item UWES-S was translated to Sinhala by using the forward–backward translation method [27,28,29], involving two independent bilingual translators, who are fluent in Sinhala and English.
The synthesised forward translation of UWES-S was pre-tested among a sample of 25 grade thirteen students outside the study setting. In a subsequent structured interview, the clarity in understanding, acceptability, and comprehension of items and feasibility of using the questionnaire were assessed. None of the items of the questionnaire was claimed to be difficult to understand.
Appraising the judgemental validity of the UWES-S
The face, content, and consensual validity were assessed. Using a modified Delphi technique, a multi-disciplinary panel of experts in the fields of psychiatry, psychology, public health, teaching, student counseling, and medical education has assessed each item on its relevance, appropriateness, and acceptability in the local context for assessing burnout among collegiate cycle students based on a rating scale from 0 (strong disagreement) to 10 (strong agreement). At the end of this iterative process, except for the item 13 stating, “When studying, I am very resilient, mentally”, all other items had a median score more than 7 for all the aspects. Thus, it was decided to include all 17 items for the assessment of construct validity.
Study design and setting
This school-based, cross-sectional validation study was conducted in the Kurunegala district, North Western province, Sri Lanka from May 2014 to April 2015. In Sri Lanka, the collegiate cycle in the education system consists of grade twelve and thirteen. Three Sinhala medium government schools in the Kurunegala district having all four collegiate cycle subject streams, viz., Science, Arts, Commerce and Technology were selected.
From the selected schools, three grade thirteen classes each were selected representing both male and female students studying in all four subject streams. A total of 194 students participated in the study in their classrooms and each participant filled the SAQ independently. The response rate was 100.0% and 55.2% (n = 107) of the sample were females. The mean age was 18.3 years (SD = 0.43 years). The majority of students were studying in the Science stream (n = 78, 40.2%). The numbers of students in the Arts, Commerce and the Technology streams were 60 (30.9%), 41 (21.2%), and 15 (7.7%) respectively.
Data were analysed by using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 17.0. Preparatory data analysis showed that there were no violations of the assumptions related to the data analytic techniques. Given that the participants to variables ratio was 11.4, the sample size was adequate for factor analysis . Even though there were few items that showed non-normal distribution of data, it is considered to be a ubiquitous phenomenon in psychological assessment research.
Multi-trait scaling analysis
Item-scale correlations were analysed and item-convergent and item-discriminant validity were assessed. A stringent criterion of correlation of 0.40 or greater between an item and its own subscale was considered as a success for assessing item-convergent validity. Furthermore, in assessing item-discriminant validity, items that correlated significantly higher (more than 1.96 standard errors) with its own subscale than with the other two subscales, were considered as scaling successes.
Exploratory factor analysis (EFA)
EFA was conducted by Principal Component Analysis (PCA) with Oblimin rotation. Kaiser’s criterion/eigenvalue, scree plot and parallel analysis were used to decide the number of factors to retain. The factors that lead to a meaningful interpretation and theoretical sense were ultimately selected.
Assessment of reliability
Reliability was assessed using internal consistency and test–retest reliability by re-administering the SAQ to a sub sample of 22 grade thirteen students after 2 weeks.