Knowledge is a prerequisite for promoting well-informed decision-making. Nevertheless, there is no validated and standardized test to assess the level of knowledge among renal patients regarding kidney disease and all treatment options. Therefore, the objective of this study was to investigate the psychometric properties of such a questionnaire for use in research and practice. A 30-item list was validated in four groups: (1) 187 patients on dialysis, (2) 82 patients who were undergoing living donor kidney transplantation the following day, (3) the general population of Dutch residents (n = 515) and (4) North American residents (n = 550). The psychometric properties of the questionnaire were examined using multidimensional item response theory (MIRT). Norm references were also calculated. Five items were found to distort ability estimates (Differential item functioning; DIF). MIRT analyses were subsequently carried out for the remaining 25 items. Almost all items showed good discrimination and difficulty parameters based on the fitted model. Two stable dimensions with 21 items were retrieved for which norm references for the Dutch and North American, dialysis and transplantation groups were calculated. This study resulted in a thorough questionnaire, the Rotterdam renal replacement knowledge-test, which enables reliable testing of patient's knowledge on kidney disease and treatment options in clinic and research.
Keywords: end-stage renal disease; health education; knowledge; psychometric; renal transplantation.
© 2013 Steunstichting ESOT. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.