Emotional vitality in caregivers: application of Rasch Measurement Theory with secondary data to development and test a new measure

Clin Rehabil. 2015 Jul;29(7):705-16. doi: 10.1177/0269215514552503. Epub 2014 Sep 22.


Objective: To describe the practical steps in identifying items and evaluating scoring strategies for a new measure of emotional vitality in informal caregivers of individuals who have experienced a significant health event.

Design: The psychometric properties of responses to selected items from validated health-related quality of life and other psychosocial questionnaires administered four times over a one-year period were evaluated using Rasch Measurement Theory.

Setting: Community.

Subjects: A total of 409 individuals providing informal care at home to older adults who had experienced a recent stroke.

Main measures: Rasch Measurement Theory was used to test the ordering of response option thresholds, fit, spread of the item locations, residual correlations, person separation index, and stability across time.

Results: Based on a theoretical framework developed in earlier work, we identified 22 candidate items from a pool of relevant psychosocial measures available. Of these, additional evaluation resulted in 19 items that could be used to assess the five core domains. The overall model fit was reasonable (χ(2) = 202.26, DF = 117, p = 0.06), stable across time, with borderline evidence of multidimensionality (10%). Items and people covered a continuum ranging from -3.7 to +2.7 logits, reflecting coverage of the measurement continuum, with a person separation index of 0.85. Mean fit of caregivers was lower than expected (-1.31 ±1.10 logits).

Conclusion: Established methods from the Rasch Measurement Theory were applied to develop a prototype measure of emotional vitality that is acceptable, reliable, and can be used to obtain an interval level score for use in future research and clinical settings.

Keywords: Rasch Measurement Theory; caregiver; emotions; resilience.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychometrics / instrumentation*
  • Psychometrics / methods
  • Quality of Life*
  • Resilience, Psychological*
  • Stroke
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult