Publication Abstract

Authors: Eton DT, Lai JS, Cella D, Reeve BB, Talcott JA, Clark JA, McPherson CP, Litwin MS, Moinpour CM

Title: Data pooling and analysis to build a preliminary item bank: an example using bowel function in prostate cancer.

Journal: Eval Health Prof 28(2):142-59

Date: 2005 Jun

Abstract: Assessing bowel function (BF) in prostate cancer can help determine therapeutic trade-offs. We determined the components of BF commonly assessed in prostate cancer studies as an initial step in creating an item bank for clinical and research application. We analyzed six archived data sets representing 4,246 men with prostate cancer. Thirty-one items from validated instruments were available for analysis. Items were classified into domains (diarrhea, rectal urgency, pain, bleeding, bother/distress, and other) then subjected to conventional psychometric and item response theory (IRT) analyses. Items fit the IRT model if the ratio between observed and expected item variance was between 0.60 and 1.40. Four of 31 items had inadequate fit in at least one analysis. Poorly fitting items included bleeding (2), rectal urgency (1), and bother/distress (1). A fifth item assessing hemorrhoids was poorly correlated with other items. Our analyses supported four related components of BF: diarrhea, rectal urgency, pain, and bother/distress.