TitleAssessment of health surveys: fitting a multidimensional graded response model.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsDepaoli, S, Tiemensma, J, Felt, JM
JournalPsychol Health Med
Date Published2018 Jan - Dec
KeywordsAdult, Cushing Syndrome, Health Surveys, Humans, Models, Psychological, Models, Statistical, Psychometrics, Quality of Life, Reproducibility of Results

The multidimensional graded response model, an item response theory (IRT) model, can be used to improve the assessment of surveys, even when sample sizes are restricted. Typically, health-based survey development utilizes classical statistical techniques (e.g. reliability and factor analysis). In a review of four prominent journals within the field of Health Psychology, we found that IRT-based models were used in less than 10% of the studies examining scale development or assessment. However, implementing IRT-based methods can provide more details about individual survey items, which is useful when determining the final item content of surveys. An example using a quality of life survey for Cushing's syndrome (CushingQoL) highlights the main components for implementing the multidimensional graded response model. Patients with Cushing's syndrome (n = 397) completed the CushingQoL. Results from the multidimensional graded response model supported a 2-subscale scoring process for the survey. All items were deemed as worthy contributors to the survey. The graded response model can accommodate unidimensional or multidimensional scales, be used with relatively lower sample sizes, and is implemented in free software (example code provided in online Appendix). Use of this model can help to improve the quality of health-based scales being developed within the Health Sciences.

Alternate JournalPsychol Health Med
PubMed ID29544349