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The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1477-7525-10-27) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Peyman Jafari, Zahra Bagheri contributed equally to this work.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
PJ researched the data, wrote the manuscript and analyzed the data, ZB wrote the manuscript and analyzed the data, SMTA supervised the study, and ZS researched the data.
Item response theory (IRT) is extensively used to develop adaptive instruments of health-related quality of life (HRQoL). However, each IRT model has its own function to estimate item and category parameters, and hence different results may be found using the same response categories with different IRT models. The present study used the Rasch rating scale model (RSM) to examine and reassess the psychometric properties of the Persian version of the PedsQLTM 4.0 Generic Core Scales.
The PedsQLTM 4.0 Generic Core Scales was completed by 938 Iranian school children and their parents. Convergent, discriminant and construct validity of the instrument were assessed by classical test theory (CTT). The RSM was applied to investigate person and item reliability, item statistics and ordering of response categories.
The CTT method showed that the scaling success rate for convergent and discriminant validity were 100% in all domains with the exception of physical health in the child self-report. Moreover, confirmatory factor analysis supported a four-factor model similar to its original version. The RSM showed that 22 out of 23 items had acceptable infit and outfit statistics (<1.4, >0.6), person reliabilities were low, item reliabilities were high, and item difficulty ranged from -1.01 to 0.71 and -0.68 to 0.43 for child self-report and parent proxy-report, respectively. Also the RSM showed that successive response categories for all items were not located in the expected order.
This study revealed that, in all domains, the five response categories did not perform adequately. It is not known whether this problem is a function of the meaning of the response choices in the Persian language or an artifact of a mostly healthy population that did not use the full range of the response categories. The response categories should be evaluated in further validation studies, especially in large samples of chronically ill patients.