Measuring the impact of multiple sclerosis: Enhancing the measurement performance of the Multiple Sclerosis Impact Scale (MSIS-29) using Rasch Measurement Theory (RMT)

Mult Scler J Exp Transl Clin. 2017 Aug 15;3(3):2055217317725917. doi: 10.1177/2055217317725917. eCollection Jul-Sep 2017.


Background: Study objectives were to evaluate the Multiple Sclerosis Impact Scale (MSIS-29) and explore an optimized scoring structure based on empirical post-hoc analyses of data from the Phase III ADVANCE clinical trial.

Methods: ADVANCE MSIS-29 data from six time-points were analyzed in a sample of patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). Rasch Measurement Theory (RMT) analysis was undertaken to examine three broad areas: sample-to-scale targeting, measurement scale properties, and sample measurement validity. Interpretation of results led to an alternative MSIS-29 scoring structure, further evaluated alongside responsiveness of the original and revised scales at Week 48.

Results: RMT analysis provided mixed evidence for Physical and Psychological Impact scales that were sub-optimally targeted at the lower functioning end of the scales. Their conceptual basis could also stand to improve based on item fit results. The revised MSIS-29 rescored scales improved but did not resolve the measurement scale properties and targeting of the MSIS-29. In two out of three revised scales, responsiveness analysis indicated strengthened ability to detect change.

Conclusion: The revised MSIS-29 provides an initial evidence-based improved patient-reported outcome (PRO) instrument for evaluating the impact of MS. Revised scoring improves conceptual clarity and interpretation of scores by refining scale structure to include Symptoms, Psychological Impact, and General Limitations.

Clinical trial: ADVANCE ( identifier NCT00906399).

Keywords: MSIS-29; Multiple sclerosis; Rasch Measurement Theory; clinical trials; post-hoc analysis; psychometrics.

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