Clinimetrics: Assessing Measurement Properties of Health Measurement Instruments
Clinimetrics is the scientific discipline that aims to (1) develop methods of assessing the properties of health measurement instruments, (2) apply those methods to develop new, or evaluate existing, health measurement instruments, with the aim (3) to improve the quality of measurements. The choice of an appropriate measurement instrument is a key issue in all scientific research. Measurement instruments are required to assess outcomes (e.g. to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions), to diagnose, and to prognosticate. Approaches to gathering data vary widely, from physical examinations to laboratory tests, from imaging techniques to self-report questionnaires. Clinical and health researchers always need to find the best instruments for their particular research and, if none are available, develop new ones.
The course is on evaluation of the quality of measurement instruments and on the design and evaluation of the quality of clinimetric studies. The emphasis is on knowing “what to measure”, by a detailed definition of the construct of interest, based on conceptual models. We continue by discussing measurement theories such as classical test theory and item response theory. For multi item instruments, dimensionality (factor analysis) internal consistency are important issues. Specific sessions will focus on reliability (particularly the distinction between reliability and measurement error), validity (with the emphasis on content validity and hypotheses testing) and responsiveness. We will also pay attention to the interpretability of an instrument’s scores.
There will be lectures with working groups in between, to discuss the content of the lectures and to practice with assessment and interpretation of the various measurement properties. For one assignment, i.e. on the calculation and interpretation of measurement error and reliability, a computer with SPSS is required.