Computerized adaptive testing of symptom severity: a registry-based study of 924 patients with trapeziometacarpal arthritis

J Hand Surg Eur Vol. 2022 Oct;47(9):893-898. doi: 10.1177/17531934221087572. Epub 2022 Mar 22.


We aimed to develop a computerized adaptive testing (CAT) version of the 11 item Patient Evaluation Measure (PEM), using an item response theory model. This model transformed the ordinal scores into ratio-interval scores. We obtained PEM responses from 924 patients with trapeziometacarpal osteoarthritis to build a CAT model and tested its performance on a simulated cohort of 1000 PEM response sets. The CAT achieved high precision (median standard error or measurement 0.26) and reduced the number of questions needed for accurate scoring from 11 to median two. The CAT scores and item-response-theory-based 15-item PEM scores were similar, and a Bland-Altman analysis demonstrated a mean score difference of 0.2 between the CAT and the full-length PEM scores on a scale from 0 to 100. We conclude that the CAT substantially reduced the burden of the PEM while also harnessing the validity of item response theory scoring.

Keywords: CAT; Osteoarthritis; PROM; computerized adaptive testing; patient-reported outcome measures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Computerized Adaptive Testing*
  • Humans
  • Osteoarthritis* / diagnosis
  • Registries
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires