The Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) measures the quality of life of patients with osteoarthritis (OA), and there is a specific scale for the physical functioning dimension, the short version with seven items WOMAC-pf. This study describes the application of the Rasch model to explore scale invariance and response stability of the WOMAC-pf short version across affected joint and over time. A sample of 884 patients with OA, from 15 hospitals in Spain, completed the WOMAC-pf before surgery (baseline) and at 3, 6 and 12 months post-surgery of hip or knee. The invariance by joint was explored through the differential item functioning (DIF) analysis of the Rasch model using baseline data, and time stability (DIF by time) were evaluated in stack data (each participant is represented four times, one by time point). Mean age of the patients was of 69.13 years (SD 10.01), 59.3% of them were women (n = 524), 59.2% had knee OA (n = 523) and 40.8% hip OA (n = 361). Item “putting on socks” showed DIF by joint and time. Fit to the Rasch model using stack data improved when this item was removed. Good reliability for individual use, local independency and unidimensionality of the models were confirmed. WOMAC-pf 7-item short version was invariant over time and joint when item “putting on socks” was removed. Researchers should carefully evaluate this item as it presents problems in scale invariance and stability, which could affect results when comparing data by joint or when computing change scores.
Rheumatology International – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 18, 2017
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