Assessment of differential item functioning for demographic comparisons in the MOS SF-36 health survey

Anthony J. Perkins, Timothy E. Stump, Patrick Monahan, Colleen A. McHorney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To investigate whether items of the Medical Outcomes Study (MOS) 36-Item Short-Form Health Status Survey (SF-36) exhibited differential item functioning (DIF) with respect to age, education, race, and gender. Methods: The data for this study come from two large national datasets, the MOS and the 1990 National Survey of Functional Health Status (NSFHS). We used logistic regression to identify items exhibiting DIF. Results: We found DIF to be most problematic for age comparisons. Items flagged for age DIF were vigorous activities, bend/kneel/stoop, bathing or dressing, limited in kind of work, health in general, get sick easier than others, expect health to get worse, felt calm and peaceful, and all four vitality items. Items flagged for education DIF include vigorous activities, health in general, health is excellent, felt calm and peaceful, and been a happy person. Vigorous activities, walk more than a mile, health in general, and expect health to get worse were identified as DIF when comparing African-Americans with whites. No items were identified for gender DIF. Conclusions: We found several consistent patterns of DIF using two national datasets with different population characteristics. In the current study, the effect of DIF rarely transferred to the scale level. Further research is needed to corroborate these results and determine qualitatively why DIF may occur for these specific items.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-348
Number of pages18
JournalQuality of Life Research
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2006

Fingerprint

Health Surveys
Demography
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Health
Health Status
Education
Population Characteristics
Bandages
African Americans
Logistic Models
Research

Keywords

  • Differential item functioning
  • Item bias
  • Quality of life
  • SF-36

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Nursing(all)

Cite this

Assessment of differential item functioning for demographic comparisons in the MOS SF-36 health survey. / Perkins, Anthony J.; Stump, Timothy E.; Monahan, Patrick; McHorney, Colleen A.

In: Quality of Life Research, Vol. 15, No. 3, 04.2006, p. 331-348.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Perkins, Anthony J. ; Stump, Timothy E. ; Monahan, Patrick ; McHorney, Colleen A. / Assessment of differential item functioning for demographic comparisons in the MOS SF-36 health survey. In: Quality of Life Research. 2006 ; Vol. 15, No. 3. pp. 331-348.
@article{55d7445aaf3a4015b5aac1b67c4b8d6d,
title = "Assessment of differential item functioning for demographic comparisons in the MOS SF-36 health survey",
abstract = "Objective: To investigate whether items of the Medical Outcomes Study (MOS) 36-Item Short-Form Health Status Survey (SF-36) exhibited differential item functioning (DIF) with respect to age, education, race, and gender. Methods: The data for this study come from two large national datasets, the MOS and the 1990 National Survey of Functional Health Status (NSFHS). We used logistic regression to identify items exhibiting DIF. Results: We found DIF to be most problematic for age comparisons. Items flagged for age DIF were vigorous activities, bend/kneel/stoop, bathing or dressing, limited in kind of work, health in general, get sick easier than others, expect health to get worse, felt calm and peaceful, and all four vitality items. Items flagged for education DIF include vigorous activities, health in general, health is excellent, felt calm and peaceful, and been a happy person. Vigorous activities, walk more than a mile, health in general, and expect health to get worse were identified as DIF when comparing African-Americans with whites. No items were identified for gender DIF. Conclusions: We found several consistent patterns of DIF using two national datasets with different population characteristics. In the current study, the effect of DIF rarely transferred to the scale level. Further research is needed to corroborate these results and determine qualitatively why DIF may occur for these specific items.",
keywords = "Differential item functioning, Item bias, Quality of life, SF-36",
author = "Perkins, {Anthony J.} and Stump, {Timothy E.} and Patrick Monahan and McHorney, {Colleen A.}",
year = "2006",
month = "4",
doi = "10.1007/s11136-005-1551-6",
language = "English",
volume = "15",
pages = "331--348",
journal = "Quality of Life Research",
issn = "0962-9343",
publisher = "Springer Netherlands",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Assessment of differential item functioning for demographic comparisons in the MOS SF-36 health survey

AU - Perkins, Anthony J.

AU - Stump, Timothy E.

AU - Monahan, Patrick

AU - McHorney, Colleen A.

PY - 2006/4

Y1 - 2006/4

N2 - Objective: To investigate whether items of the Medical Outcomes Study (MOS) 36-Item Short-Form Health Status Survey (SF-36) exhibited differential item functioning (DIF) with respect to age, education, race, and gender. Methods: The data for this study come from two large national datasets, the MOS and the 1990 National Survey of Functional Health Status (NSFHS). We used logistic regression to identify items exhibiting DIF. Results: We found DIF to be most problematic for age comparisons. Items flagged for age DIF were vigorous activities, bend/kneel/stoop, bathing or dressing, limited in kind of work, health in general, get sick easier than others, expect health to get worse, felt calm and peaceful, and all four vitality items. Items flagged for education DIF include vigorous activities, health in general, health is excellent, felt calm and peaceful, and been a happy person. Vigorous activities, walk more than a mile, health in general, and expect health to get worse were identified as DIF when comparing African-Americans with whites. No items were identified for gender DIF. Conclusions: We found several consistent patterns of DIF using two national datasets with different population characteristics. In the current study, the effect of DIF rarely transferred to the scale level. Further research is needed to corroborate these results and determine qualitatively why DIF may occur for these specific items.

AB - Objective: To investigate whether items of the Medical Outcomes Study (MOS) 36-Item Short-Form Health Status Survey (SF-36) exhibited differential item functioning (DIF) with respect to age, education, race, and gender. Methods: The data for this study come from two large national datasets, the MOS and the 1990 National Survey of Functional Health Status (NSFHS). We used logistic regression to identify items exhibiting DIF. Results: We found DIF to be most problematic for age comparisons. Items flagged for age DIF were vigorous activities, bend/kneel/stoop, bathing or dressing, limited in kind of work, health in general, get sick easier than others, expect health to get worse, felt calm and peaceful, and all four vitality items. Items flagged for education DIF include vigorous activities, health in general, health is excellent, felt calm and peaceful, and been a happy person. Vigorous activities, walk more than a mile, health in general, and expect health to get worse were identified as DIF when comparing African-Americans with whites. No items were identified for gender DIF. Conclusions: We found several consistent patterns of DIF using two national datasets with different population characteristics. In the current study, the effect of DIF rarely transferred to the scale level. Further research is needed to corroborate these results and determine qualitatively why DIF may occur for these specific items.

KW - Differential item functioning

KW - Item bias

KW - Quality of life

KW - SF-36

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=33645102618&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=33645102618&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s11136-005-1551-6

DO - 10.1007/s11136-005-1551-6

M3 - Article

C2 - 16547771

AN - SCOPUS:33645102618

VL - 15

SP - 331

EP - 348

JO - Quality of Life Research

JF - Quality of Life Research

SN - 0962-9343

IS - 3

ER -