Reliability and Validity of Selected PROMIS Measures in People with Rheumatoid Arthritis

PLoS One. 2015 Sep 17;10(9):e0138543. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0138543. eCollection 2015.


Purpose: To evaluate the reliability and validity of 11 PROMIS measures to assess symptoms and impacts identified as important by people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Methods: Consecutive patients (N = 177) in an observational study completed PROMIS computer adapted tests (CATs) and a short form (SF) assessing pain, fatigue, physical function, mood, sleep, and participation. We assessed test-test reliability and internal consistency using correlation and Cronbach's alpha. We assessed convergent validity by examining Pearson correlations between PROMIS measures and existing measures of similar domains and known groups validity by comparing scores across disease activity levels using ANOVA.

Results: Participants were mostly female (82%) and white (83%) with mean (SD) age of 56 (13) years; 24% had ≤ high school, 29% had RA ≤ 5 years with 13% ≤ 2 years, and 22% were disabled. PROMIS Physical Function, Pain Interference and Fatigue instruments correlated moderately to strongly (rho's ≥ 0.68) with corresponding PROs. Test-retest reliability ranged from .725-.883, and Cronbach's alpha from .906-.991. A dose-response relationship with disease activity was evident in Physical Function with similar trends in other scales except Anger.

Conclusions: These data provide preliminary evidence of reliability and construct validity of PROMIS CATs to assess RA symptoms and impacts, and feasibility of use in clinical care. PROMIS instruments captured the experiences of RA patients across the broad continuum of RA symptoms and function, especially at low disease activity levels. Future research is needed to evaluate performance in relevant subgroups, assess responsiveness and identify clinically meaningful changes.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anger / physiology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / diagnosis*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / physiopathology*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Fatigue / diagnosis
  • Fatigue / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement / methods
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychometrics / methods
  • Quality of Life
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sleep / physiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires