Measurement equivalence of the Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System ® (PROMIS ® ) Applied Cognition-General Concerns, short forms in ethnically diverse groups

Robert Fieo, Katja Ocepek-Welikson, Marjorie Kleinman, Joseph Eimicke, Paul Crane, David Cella, Jeanne Teresi
2016 Psychological Test and Assessment Modeling   unpublished
Aims: The goals of these analyses were to examine the psychometric properties and measurement equivalence of a self-reported cognition measure, the Patient Reported Outcome Measurement Information System ® (PROMIS ®) Applied Cognition-General Concerns short form. These items are also found in the PROMIS Cognitive Function (version 2) item bank. This scale consists of eight items related to subjective cognitive concerns. Differential item functioning (DIF) analyses of gender, education, race,
more » ... , and (Spanish) language were performed using an ethnically diverse sample (n = 5,477) of individuals with cancer. This is the first analysis examining DIF in this item set across ethnic and racial groups. Methods: DIF hypotheses were derived by asking content experts to indicate whether they posited DIF for each item and to specify the direction. The principal DIF analytic model was item response theory (IRT) using the graded response model for polytomous data, with accompanying Wald tests and measures of magnitude. Sensitivity analyses were conducted using ordinal logistic regression (OLR) with a latent conditioning variable. IRT-based reliability, precision and information indices were estimated. R. Fieo et al. 256 Results: DIF was identified consistently only for the item, brain not working as well as usual. After correction for multiple comparisons, this item showed significant DIF for both the primary and sensitivity analyses. Black respondents and Hispanics in comparison to White non-Hispanic respondents evidenced a lower conditional probability of endorsing the item, brain not working as well as usual. The same pattern was observed for the education grouping variable: as compared to those with a graduate degree, conditioning on overall level of subjective cognitive concerns, those with less than high school education also had a lower probability of endorsing this item. DIF was observed for age for two items after correction for multiple comparisons for both the IRT and OLR-based models: "I have had to work really hard to pay attention or I would make a mistake" and "I have had trouble shifting back and forth between different activities that require thinking". For both items, conditional on cognitive complaints, older respondents had a higher likelihood than younger respondents of endorsing the item in the cognitive complaints direction. The magnitude and impact of DIF was minimal. The scale showed high precision along much of the subjective cognitive concerns continuum; the overall IRT-based reliability estimate for the total sample was 0.88 and the estimates for subgroups ranged from 0.87 to 0.92. Conclusion: Little DIF of high magnitude or impact was observed in the PROMIS Applied Cogni-tion-General Concerns short form item set. One item, "It has seemed like my brain was not working as well as usual" might be singled out for further study. However, in general the short form item set was highly reliable, informative, and invariant across differing race/ethnic, educational, age, gender, and language groups.