Efficiency of static and computer adaptive short forms compared to full-length measures of depressive symptoms

Department of Medical Social Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.
Quality of Life Research (Impact Factor: 2.49). 11/2009; 19(1):125-36. DOI: 10.1007/s11136-009-9560-5
Source: PubMed


Short-form patient-reported outcome measures are popular because they minimize patient burden. We assessed the efficiency of static short forms and computer adaptive testing (CAT) using data from the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) project.
We evaluated the 28-item PROMIS depressive symptoms bank. We used post hoc simulations based on the PROMIS calibration sample to compare several short-form selection strategies and the PROMIS CAT to the total item bank score.
Compared with full-bank scores, all short forms and CAT produced highly correlated scores, but CAT outperformed each static short form in almost all criteria. However, short-form selection strategies performed only marginally worse than CAT. The performance gap observed in static forms was reduced by using a two-stage branching test format.
Using several polytomous items in a calibrated unidimensional bank to measure depressive symptoms yielded a CAT that provided marginally superior efficiency compared to static short forms. The efficiency of a two-stage semi-adaptive testing strategy was so close to CAT that it warrants further consideration and study.

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    • "Test information and standard error curves for the severity of substance use item bank. item bank based on the observed data from our calibration sample , expected information under the standard normal distribution with a mean of 0 and SD of 1, and expected information under a normal distribution with a larger SD, i.e., a mean of 0 and SD of 1.5 (Choi et al., 2010). The CAT simulations were performed using the Firestar program (Choi, 2009). "
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    • "Analyses of potential differential item functioning due to gender, age, and educational attainment were performed during the development of the item banks to ensure that items performed comparably regardless of variations in these background characteristics. In general, experience with CAT suggests that the PROMIS depression item bank provides excellent precision with 4e6 items (Choi et al., 2010). A generic 8-item short form is also available, and this short form was one of the cross-cutting dimensional measures used in the DSM-5 field trials, where its feasibility was established and where it performed well with regard to test-retest reliability (Narrow et al., 2013). "
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    • "• Depression [27]: We will use the short-form version of the PROMIS depression scale. "
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