To calibrate the Dutch-Flemish version of the PROMIS physical function (PF) item bank in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and to evaluate cross-cultural measurement equivalence with US general population and RA data.
Data were collected from RA patients enrolled in the Dutch DREAM registry. An incomplete longitudinal anchored design was used where patients completed all 121 items of the item bank over the course of three waves of data collection. Item responses were fit to a generalized partial credit model adapted for longitudinal data and the item parameters were examined for differential item functioning (DIF) across country, age, and sex.
In total, 690 patients participated in the study at time point 1 (T2, N = 489; T3, N = 311). The item bank could be successfully fitted to a generalized partial credit model, with the number of misfitting items falling within acceptable limits. Seven items demonstrated DIF for sex, while 5 items showed DIF for age in the Dutch RA sample. Twenty-five (20%) items were flagged for cross-cultural DIF compared to the US general population. However, the impact of observed DIF on total physical function estimates was negligible.
The results of this study showed that the PROMIS PF item bank adequately fit a unidimensional IRT model which provides support for applications that require invariant estimates of physical function, such as computer adaptive testing and targeted short forms. More studies are needed to further investigate the cross-cultural applicability of the US-based PROMIS calibration and standardized metric.