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03.05.2016 | Ausgabe 10/2016

Quality of Life Research 10/2016

The development of a new computer adaptive test to evaluate chorea in Huntington disease: HDQLIFE Chorea

Quality of Life Research > Ausgabe 10/2016
N. E. Carlozzi, N. R. Downing, S. G. Schilling, J.-S. Lai, S. M. Goodnight, J. A. Miner, S. A. Frank



Huntington’s disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disease associated with motor, behavioral, and cognitive deficits. The hallmark symptom of HD, chorea, is often the focus of HD clinical trials. Unfortunately, there are no self-reported measures of chorea. To address this shortcoming, we developed a new measure of chorea for use in HD, HDQLIFE Chorea.


Qualitative data and literature reviews were conducted to develop an initial item pool of 141 chorea items. An iterative process, including cognitive interviews, expert review, translatability review, and literacy review, was used to refine this item pool to 64 items. These 64 items were field tested in 507 individuals with prodromal and/or manifest HD. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses (EFA and CFA, respectively) were conducted to identify a unidimensional set of items. Then, an item response theory graded response model (GRM) and differential item functioning analyses were conducted to select the final items for inclusion in this measure.


EFA and CFA supported the retention of 34 chorea items. GRM and DIF supported the retention of all of these items in the final measure. GRM calibration data were used to inform the selection of a 6-item, static short form and to program the HDQLIFE Chorea computer adaptive test (CAT). CAT simulation analyses indicated a 0.99 correlation between the CAT scores and the full item bank.


The new HDQLIFE Chorea CAT and corresponding 6-item short form were developed using established rigorous measurement development standards; this is the first self-reported measure developed to evaluate the impact of chorea on HRQOL in HD. This development work indicates that these measures have strong psychometric properties; future work is needed to establish test–retest reliability and responsiveness to change.

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