Rasch analysis of items from two self-report measures of motor function: Determination of item difficulty and relationships with children's ability levels

Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare, St Paul, MN 55101, USA.
Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology (Impact Factor: 3.51). 03/2012; 54(5):443-50. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2012.04231.x
Source: PubMed


The aim of this article was to determine item measurement properties of a set of items selected from the Gillette Functional Assessment Questionnaire (FAQ) and the Pediatric Outcome Data Collection Instrument (PODCI) using Rasch analysis, and to explore relationships between the FAQ/PODCI combined set of items, FAQ walking scale level, Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) levels, and the Gait Deviation Index on a common measurement scale.
Rasch analysis was performed on data from a retrospective chart review of parent-reported FAQ and PODCI data from 485 individuals (273 males; 212 females; mean age 9 y 10 mo, SD 3 y 10 mo) who underwent first-time three-dimensional gait analysis. Of the 485 individuals, 289 had a diagnosis of cerebral palsy (104 GMFCS level I, 97 GMFCS level II, 69 GMFCS level III, and 19 GMFCS level IV). Rasch-based person abilities and item difficulties based on subgroups defined by the FAQ walking scale level, Gait Deviation Index, and the GMFCS level were compared.
The FAQ/PODCI item set demonstrated necessary Rasch characteristics to support its use as a combined measurement scale. Item groupings at similar difficulty levels were consistent with the mean person abilities of subgroups based on FAQ walking scale level, Gait Deviation Index, and GMFCS level.
Rasch-derived person ability scores from the FAQ/PODCI combined item set are consistent with clinical measures. Rasch analysis provides insights that may improve interpretation of the difficulty of motor functions for children with disabilities.

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