Practical Significance of Longitudinal Measurement Invariance Violations in the Dutch-Flemish PROMIS Item Banks for Depression and Anxiety: An Illustration With Ordered-Categorical Data

Assessment. 2021 Jan;28(1):277-294. doi: 10.1177/1073191119880967. Epub 2019 Oct 18.


We investigated longitudinal measurement invariance in the Dutch-Flemish PROMIS adult v1.0 item banks for Depression and Anxiety using two clinical samples with mood and anxiety disorders (n = 640 and n = 528, respectively). Factor analysis was used to evaluate whether the item banks were sufficiently unidimensional at two test-occasions and whether the measured constructs remained the same over time. The results indicated that the item banks were sufficiently unidimensional, but the thresholds and residual variances of the constructs changed over time. However, using tentative rules of thumb, these invariance violations did not substantially affect the endorsement of a specific response category of a specific item at a specific test-occasion. Furthermore, the impact on the mean latent change scores of the item banks remained below the proposed cutoff value for substantial bias. These findings suggest that the invariance violations lacked practical significance for test-users, meaning that the item banks provide sufficiently invariant latent factor scores for use in clinical practice.

Keywords: PROMIS; anxiety; clinical assessment; depression; longitudinal measurement invariance.