Scoring based on item response theory did not alter the measurement ability of the EORTC QLQ-C30 scales.

M. A. Petersen, M. Groenvold, N. K. Aaronson, E. Brenne, Peter Fayers, J. Damgaard-Nielsen, M. A. G. Sprangers, J. Bjorner, European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Quality of Life Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Objectives: Most health-related quality-of-life questionnaires include multi-item scales. Scale scores are usually estimated as simple sums of the item scores. However, scoring procedures utilizing more information from the items might improve measurement abilities, and thereby reduce the needed sample sizes. We investigated whether item response theory (IRT)-based scoring improved the measurement abilities of the EORTC QLQ-C30 physical functioning, emotional functioning, and fatigue scales.

Methods: Using a database of 13,0 10 subjects we estimated the relative validities of IRT scoring compared to sum scoring of the scales.

Results: The mean relative validities were 1.04 (physical), 1.03 (emotional), and 0.97 (fatigue). None of these were significantly larger than 1. Thus, no gain in measurement abilities using IRT scoring was found for these scales. Possible explanations include that the items in the scales are not constructed for IRT scoring and that the scales are relatively short.

Conclusion: IRT scoring of the three longest EORTC QLQ-C30 scales did not improve measurement abilities compared to the traditional sum scoring of the scales. (c) 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)902-908
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Issue number9
Early online date7 Jul 2005
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005


  • IRT scoring
  • known-groups comparisons
  • quality of life
  • relative validity
  • sum scoring
  • PF-10


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