Items and dimensions for the construction of a multidimensional computerized adaptive test to measure fatigue in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

Stephanie Nikolaus, Christina Bode, Erik Taal, J.C.M. Oostveen, Johanna C.M. Oostveen, Cornelis A.W. Glas, Mart A F J van de Laar

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Objectives Development of an item pool to construct a future computerized adaptive test (CAT) for fatigue in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The item pool was based on the patients' perspective and examined for face and content validity previously. This study assessed the fit of the items with seven predefined dimensions and examined the item pool's dimensionality structure in statistical terms. Study Design and Setting A total of 551 patients with RA participated in this study. Several steps were conducted to come from an explorative item pool to a psychometrically sound item bank. The item response theory (IRT) analysis using the generalized partial credit model was conducted for each of the seven predefined dimensions. Poorly fitting items were removed. Finally, the best possible multidimensional IRT (MIRT) model for the data was identified. Results In IRT analysis, 49 items showed insufficient item characteristics. Items with a discriminative ability below 0.60 and/or model misfit effect sizes greater than 0.10 were removed. Factor analysis on the 196 remaining items revealed three dimensions, namely severity, impact, and variability of fatigue. The dimensions were further confirmed in MIRT model analysis. Conclusion This study provided an initially calibrated item bank and showed which dimensions and items can be used for the development of a multidimensional CAT for fatigue in RA
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1175-1183
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of clinical epidemiology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • IR-87477
  • METIS-298120

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