Cross-diagnostic validity of the SF-36 physical functioning scale in patients with stroke, multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A study using rasch analysis

Annet J. Dallmeijer, Vincent de Groot, Leo D. Roorda, Vera P.M. Schepers, Eline Lindeman, Leonard H. van den Berg, Anita Beelen, Joost Dekker

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Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate uni­dimensionality and differential item functioning of the SF-36 physical functioning scale (PF10) in patients with various neurological disorders. Patients: Patients post-stroke (n = 198), with multiple sclero­sis (n = 151) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (n = 193) partici­pated. Methods: Unidimensionality of the PF10 within the patient groups was investigated by performing a separate Rasch analysis for each group. Differential item functioning was investigated in a pooled Rasch analysis of the 3 groups. Results: Within each group, all items fitted the Rasch model, except the “bathing/dressing” item in the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis group. The pooled analysis showed inadequate fit to the Rasch model for one item (“walking several hundred metres”). Of the other 9 fitting items, 5 showed differential item functioning for stroke vs multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, while no differential item function­ing was found between multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Conclusion: All items of the PF10, except one for the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis group, form a unidimensional scale, supporting the use of a sum score as a measure of physical func­tioning within these diagnostic groups. When comparing the data of patients after stroke, with that of patients with multip­le sclerosis and/or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients, adjustments for differential item functioning are required.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)163-169
JournalJournal of rehabilitation medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • IR-77057

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