Rasch analysis of the Western Ontario McMaster (WOMAC) Osteoarthritis Index: results from community and arthroplasty samples.
ABSTRACT This study is based on secondary analysis of Western Ontario McMaster Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) data from a community sample over 55 years and total hip or knee arthroplasty samples presurgery and 1-year postoperative.
The WOMAC data were evaluated by Rasch analysis. Data were considered to fit the Rasch mathematical model for the pain and physical dimensions of the WOMAC if unidimensionality was confirmed by principle component analysis of the subscale and the residuals from the Rasch analysis, infit and outfit statistics were in the range of 0.80 to 1.20; if there was no differential item functioning based on gender or hip vs. knee subjects; and, if there was stability of the item logits across the three data samples.
A three-item pain dimension (excluding night pain and pain on standing) and a 14-item physical dimension (excluding heavy domestic duties, getting in and out of the bath and getting on and off the toilet) fit the Rasch model based on these criteria.
In evaluating existing health status questionnaires using Rasch methodology, it is important to evaluate relevant patient samples and longitudinal data when the measure is intended to evaluate change in status. By these criteria, a modified WOMAC questionnaire fits the Rasch model and has interval-level scaling properties.
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ABSTRACT: Advances in health measurement have led to the application of Rasch Item Response Theory (IRT) analysis (Rasch analysis) to evaluate instruments measuring health status and quality of life of patients, including the Health Assessment Questionnaire and SF-36. This study investigated the extent to which the Western Ontario MacMaster osteoarthritis questionnaire (WOMAC) satisfies the Rasch model, particularly in respect to unidimensionality, item separation, and linearity. The study included a total of 2205 patients, 1013 with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), 655 with osteoarthritis of the knee or hip (OA), and 537 with fibromyalgia. All patients completed the WOMAC as part of a longitudinal study of rheumatic disease outcomes. To examine whether the WOMAC pain and function scales each fits the Rasch model, the Winsteps program was used to assess item difficulty, scale unidimensionality, item separation, and linearity. Although the WOMAC worked best in OA, regardless of disorder, both the pain and function scales were unidimensional, had adequate item separation, and had a long range (25-150) of linearity in the function scale. Several functional items, however, had a high information weight fit (INFIT) statistic, indicating poor fit to the model. These items included "getting in and out of the bath" and "going down stairs." The WOMAC generally satisfies the requirements of Rasch item response theory across all disorders studied, and is an appropriate measure of lower body function in OA, RA and fibromyalgia. Although some individual items do not fit well, it is not likely that removing such items would result in more than overall minimal differences, and it will be difficult to remove traces of multidimensionality while keeping the central constructs of progressive lower body musculoskeletal abnormality intact. In addition, it is possible that a "purer", still more unidimensional instrument would be less useful in clinical trials and epidemiological studies by restricting the range of the scale.Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 10/1999; 58(9):563-8. · 9.11 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Area variation in the use of surgical interventions such as arthroplasty is viewed as concerning and inappropriate. To determine whether area arthroplasty rates reflect patient-related demand factors, we estimated the need for and the willingness to undergo arthroplasty in a high- and a low-use area of Ontario, Canada. Population-based mail and telephone survey. All adults aged > or =55 years in a high (n = 21,925) and low (n = 26,293) arthroplasty use area. We determined arthritis severity and comorbidity with questionnaires, established the presence of arthritis with examination and radiographs, and evaluated willingness to have arthroplasty with interviews. Potential arthroplasty need was defined as severe arthritis, no absolute contraindication for surgery, and evidence of arthritis on examination and radiographs. Estimates of need were then adjusted for patients' willingness to undergo arthroplasty. Response rates were 72.0% for questionnaires and interviews. The potential need for arthroplasty was 36.3/1,000 respondents in the high-rate area compared with 28.5/1,000 in the low-rate area (P <0.0001). Among individuals with potential need, only 14.9% in the high-rate area and 8.5% in the low-rate area were definitely willing to undergo arthroplasty (P = 0.03), yielding adjusted estimates of need of 5.4/1,000 and 2.4/1,000 in the high- and low-rate areas, respectively. Demonstrable need and willingness were greater in the high-rate area, suggesting these factors explain in part the observed geographic rate variations for this procedure. Among those with severe arthritis, no more than 15% were definitely willing to undergo arthroplasty, emphasizing the importance of considering both patients' preferences and surgical indications when evaluating need and appropriateness of rates for surgery.Medical Care 04/2001; 39(3):206-16. · 3.23 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The goal of this project was to develop a more comprehensive and sensitive version of the Arthritis Impact Measurement Scales (AIMS). AIMS scale items were revised, and 3 new scales were added to evaluate arm function, work, and social support. Sections were also added to assess satisfaction with function, attribution of problems to arthritis, and self-designation of priority areas for improvement. The new instrument was designated the AIMS2. A pilot test of format and content and a performance test of reliability and validity were carried out. Questionnaire completion times in a pilot study of 24 subjects averaged 23 minutes, and evaluations were positive regarding the instrument's length and ease of completion, and the subjects' willingness to complete serial forms and return them by mail. Measurement performance was tested in 408 subjects: 299 with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and 109 with osteoarthritis (OA); 45 of these subjects completed a second AIMS2 within 3 weeks. Internal consistency coefficients for the 12 scales were 0.72-0.91 in the RA group and 0.74-0.96 in the OA group. Test-retest reliability was 0.78-0.94. All within-scale factor analyses produced single factors, except for mobility level in OA. Validity analyses in both the RA and the OA groups showed that patient designation of an area as a problem or as a priority for improvement was significantly associated with a poorer AIMS2 scale score in that area. Reliability, factor analysis, and validity results were consistent in age, sex, and education subgroups. Satisfaction was moderately correlated with level of function in the same health status area, and the satisfaction items formed a reliable scale. Responses to the arthritis attribution items showed that most dysfunction in this sample was due to arthritis. The AIMS2 is a revised and expanded health status questionnaire with excellent measurement properties that should be useful in arthritis clinical trials and in outcomes research.Arthritis & Rheumatism 02/1992; 35(1):1-10. · 7.48 Impact Factor