Response shift theory: Important implications for measuring quality of life in people with disability
ABSTRACT Measurement of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in people with disability can be problematic. Ambiguous or paradoxical findings can occur because of differences among people or changes within people regarding internal standards, values, or conceptualization of HRQOL. These "response shifts" can affect standard psychometric indices, such as reliability and validity. Attending to appraisal processes and response shift theory can inform development of HRQOL measures for people with disability that do not confound function and health and that consider important causal indicators such as environment. By design, most HRQOL measures equate function with health, necessarily leading to a lower measured HRQOL in people with functional impairments regardless of their level of self-perceived health. In this article, we present theoretical and conceptual distinctions building on response shift theory and other current developments in HRQOL research. We then submit a set of suggested directions for future measurement development in populations with disabilities that consider these distinctions and extend their use in future measurement developments.
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ABSTRACT: Background When patients have multiple chronic illnesses, it is not feasible to provide disease-based care when treatments for one condition adversely affect another. Instead, health-care delivery requires a broader person-centred treatment plan based on collaborative, patient-oriented values and goals.Objective We examined the individual variability, thematic content, and sociodemographic correlates of valued life abilities and activities among multimorbid veterans diagnosed with life-altering cancer.Setting and participantsParticipants were 144 veterans in the ‘Vet-Cares’ study who completed a health-care values and goals scale 12 months after diagnosis of head and neck, gastro-oesophageal, or colorectal cancer. They had mean age of 65 years and one quarter identified as Hispanic and/or African American.DesignAt twelve months post-diagnosis, participants rated 16 life abilities/activities in their importance to quality of life on a 10-point Likert scale, during an in-person interview. Scale themes were validated via exploratory factor analysis and examining associations with sociodemographic variables.ResultsParticipants rated most life abilities/activities as extremely important. Variability in responses was sufficient to identify three underlying values themes in exploratory factor analysis: self-sufficiency, enjoyment/comfort, and connection to family, friends and spirituality. Veterans with a spouse/partner rated self-sufficiency as less important. African American veterans rated connection as more important than did White veterans.Conclusions It is feasible yet challenging to ask older, multimorbid patients to rate relative importance of values associated with life abilities/activities. Themes related to self-sufficiency, enjoyment/comfort in daily life and connection are salient and logically consistent with sociodemographic traits. Future studies should explore their role in goal-directed health care.Health expectations: an international journal of public participation in health care and health policy 01/2015; DOI:10.1111/hex.12343 · 1.80 Impact Factor