Table of Contents
Condom Fit and Feel Scale
MICHAEL REECE,1 DEBBY HERBENICK, AND BRIAN DODGE, Indiana University
Those who promote condoms in their sexual health pro- motion efforts have been challenged by the assertion from some men that their resistance to condoms is based upon their perceptions that they do not fit properly or feel comfortable during use. The Condom Fit and Feel Scale was developed to provide the field with an empirical measure for assessing men’s perceptions of the extent to which condoms fit and feel comfortable along specific points of the penis (e.g., base, shaft, glans). The scale was designed for use by both sexual health researchers and sexual health practitioners (e.g., clinicians, educators, therapists, and community-based organization staff and volunteers). For researchers, the scale is designed to provide a quantitative assessment of men’s perceptions of condom fit and feel and can be used for studies that seek to include a construct such as “perceived condom fit and feel” in their work related to condom use, condom attitudes, and other cognitive, affective, and behavioral aspects of using condoms. For practitioners, the scale was designed to be a useful tool that would help condom-resistant men to articulate their specific concerns with the fit and feel of condoms in a way that is sensitive to the challenges that both men and providers
may face during discussions related to male sexual anatomy. For practitioners involved in the promotion of correct and consistent condom use, the scale can be quickly scored or individual items can be reviewed in order to assist providers with making recommendations for specific condoms that are designed for men with varying penile dimensions or that have properties (e.g., shape, texture, lubricant type) that men may perceive as better fitting or more comfortable given their particular concerns.
The Condom Fit and Feel Scale is a 14-item Likert-type scale on which men indicate their experiences with the fit and feel of condoms. Items were developed by sexual health researchers in collaboration with sexual health practitioners, condom manufacturers, and condom distributors based upon the specific issues that men have presented during sexual health interventions and upon the specific issues with condom fit and feel that men have expressed to condom companies and condom retailers when seeking condom recommendations. The scale has five subscales, including
Condoms Fit Fine, Condoms Feel Too Loose, Condoms Feel Too Tight, Condoms Are Too Long, and Condoms Are Too Short. Each item is assessed using a 4-point response option (1 = Never Applies to Me; 2 = Sometimes Applies to Me; 3 = Often Applies to Me; 4 = Always Applies to Me).
Response Mode and Timing
Respondents are asked to read a series of 14 statements and to indicate the extent to which the specific perception of condom fit and feel has applied to them over the course of their past sexual activities during which condoms were used. The scale is preceded by the instruction: “Please rate the extent to which each of the following statements has applied to you as you have used condoms for sexual activities in the past.” Completion of the scale takes approximately 5 minutes.
A mean score for each subscale is calculated by summing the scores on items within each subscale and dividing the total subscale score by the number of items in each sub- scale. The subscale mean scores can be used independently to assess men’s experiences with specific aspects of condom fit and feel. One can also calculate an overall score of Condom Fit and Feel Problems by reverse scoring the two positive items in the Condoms Fit Fine subscale and creating a summed score.
Reliability coefficients of the subscales have ranged from .60 (Condoms Are Too Long subscale) to .89 (Condoms Feel Too Loose subscale) during administration to samples of heterosexual, bisexual, and gay men (Reece, Dodge, Herbenick, Fisher, & Alexander, 2007; Reece, Herbenick, & Dodge, 2009). In addition to the English version of the scale, similar levels of reliability have been demonstrated in multiple languages including Spanish, German, French,
Condom Fit and Feel Scale
Dutch, and Slovenian (Dodge, Reece, & Herbenick, 2009). Reliability of the scale has also been established among individuals living with HIV (Briggs, Reece, Dodge, Glover, & Herbenick, 2009).
Factorial validity was established through exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses (Reece et al., 2008) following its initial implementation among a sample of 1,842 men with a history of condom use in the United States. Factor analyses indicated a five-factor solution (the five subscales) that explained 54.3% of the variance. Known-groups valid- ity has been established by exploring the extent to which subscale scores converge with self-reported measures of erect penile circumference and penile length (Reece et al., 2009). Convergent validity of the total scale and individual subscales has been further established through the use of the scale with measures of condom use, condom break- age, and condom slippage (Reece et al., 2007; Reece et al., 2009).
Address correspondence to Michael Reece, Center for Sexual Health Promotion, HPER 116, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405; e-mail: [email protected]
Please rate the extent to which each of the following statements has applied to you as you have used condoms for sexual activities in the past.
Never Applies to Me
Sometimes Applies to Me
Often Applies to Me
Always Applies to Me
Scale Items by Subscale (subscale titles provided for information, not to be included in the actual scale when administered).
Condoms Fit Fine
Condoms fit my penis just fine.
Condoms feel comfortable once I have them on my penis.
Condoms Are Too Long
Condoms are too long for my penis.
I have some unrolled condom left at the base of my penis after I unroll it.
Condoms Are Too Short
Condoms are too short for my penis.
Condoms will not roll down far enough to cover my penis completely.
Condoms Feel Too Tight
Condoms are too tight on my penis.
Condoms feel too tight along the shaft of my penis. Condoms feel too tight on the head of my penis. Condoms feel too tight around the base of my penis.
Condoms Feel Too Loose
Condoms are too loose on my penis.
Condoms feel too loose along the shaft of my penis. Condoms feel too loose around the head of my penis. Condoms feel too loose around the base of my penis.
Briggs, L., Reece, M., Dodge, B., Glover, R., & Herbenick, D. (2009, November). Perceptions of condom fit and feel and relations with condom use among men living with HIV. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association, Philadelphia, PA.
Dodge, B., Reece, M., & Herbenick, D. (2009, November). Experiences of condom fit and feel among men in five European nations. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association, Philadelphia, PA.
Reece, M., Dodge, B., Herbenick, D., Fisher, C., & Alexander, A. (2007). Experiences of condom fit and feel among African-American men who have sex with men. Sexually Transmitted Infections, 83, 454–457.
Reece, M., Herbenick, D., & Dodge, B. (2009). Penile dimensions and men’s perceptions of condom fit and feel. Sexually Transmitted Infections, 85, 127–131.
Reece, M., Herbenick, D., Monahan, P., Sanders, S., Temkit, M., & Yarber, W. L. (2008). Breakage, slippage and acceptability outcomes of a condom fitted to penile dimensions. Sexually Transmitted Infections, 84, 143–149.