The first stage of developing preference-based measures: constructing a health-state classification using Rasch analysis

Qual Life Res. 2009 Mar;18(2):253-65. doi: 10.1007/s11136-008-9428-0. Epub 2008 Dec 11.


Objective: To set out the methodological process for using Rasch analysis alongside classical psychometric methods in the development of a health-state classification that is amenable to valuation.

Methods: The overactive bladder questionnaire is used to illustrate a five step process for deriving a reduced health-state classification from an existing non-preference-based health-related quality-of-life instrument. Step I uses factor analysis to establish instrument dimensions, step II excludes items that do not meet the initial validation process and step III uses criteria based on Rasch analysis and other psychometric testing to select the final items for the health-state classification. In step IV, item levels are examined and Rasch analysis is used to explore the possibility of reducing the number of item levels. Step V repeats steps I-IV on alternative data sets in order to validate the selection of items for the health-state classification.

Results: The techniques described enable the construction of a five-dimension health-state classification, the OAB-5D, amenable to valuation tasks that will allow the derivation of preference weights.

Conclusions: The health-related quality of life of patients with conditions like overactive bladder can be valued and quality adjustment weights estimated for calculation of quality-adjusted life years.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychometrics / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sickness Impact Profile
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urinary Bladder, Overactive / psychology*