Measuring health-related problem solving among African Americans with multiple chronic conditions: application of Rasch analysis

J Behav Med. 2015 Oct;38(5):787-97. doi: 10.1007/s10865-014-9603-4. Epub 2014 Oct 16.


Identification of patients with poor chronic disease self-management skills can facilitate treatment planning, determine effectiveness of interventions, and reduce disease complications. This paper describes the use of a Rasch model, the Rating Scale Model, to examine psychometric properties of the 50-item Health Problem-Solving Scale (HPSS) among 320 African American patients with high risk for cardiovascular disease. Items on the positive/effective HPSS subscales targeted patients at low, moderate, and high levels of positive/effective problem solving, whereas items on the negative/ineffective problem solving subscales mostly targeted those at moderate or high levels of ineffective problem solving. Validity was examined by correlating factor scores on the measure with clinical and behavioral measures. Items on the HPSS show promise in the ability to assess health-related problem solving among high risk patients. However, further revisions of the scale are needed to increase its usability and validity with large, diverse patient populations in the future.

Keywords: Multiple chronic conditions; Problem solving; Rasch analysis.

MeSH terms

  • African Americans
  • Aged
  • Chronic Disease / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Problem Solving*
  • Psychometrics
  • Self Care*