VA Research and Development LOGO

Logo for the Journal of Rehab R&D
Volume 41 Number 2, March/April 2004
Pages 233  — 242

Abstract - Use of Rasch person-item map in exploratory data analysis: A clinical perspective

Joan Stelmack, OD; Janet P. Szlyk, PhD; Thomas Stelmack, OD; Judith Babcock-Parziale, PhD; Paulette Demers-Turco, OD; R. Tracy Williams, OD; Robert W. Massof, PhD

Edward Hines, Jr, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Hospital, Hines, IL; Illinois College of Optometry,
Chicago, IL; Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL;
VA Chicago Health Care System, West Side Division, Chicago, IL; Southwestern Blind Rehabilitation Center,
Southern Arizona VA Healthcare System, Tucson, AZ; Department of Psychology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ; Vision Rehabilitation Center, Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Lois and Edwin Deicke Center for Vision Rehabilitation, Boston, MA; Loyola University, School of
Medicine, Maywood, IL; Lions Vision Research and Rehabilitation Center, Wilmer Ophthalmological Institute,
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
Abstract — The National Institutes of Health (NIH) includes visual impairment in the 10 most prevalent causes of disability in America. As rehabilitation programs have the potential to restore independence and improve the quality of life for affected persons, NIH research priorities include evaluating their effectiveness. This paper demonstrates a clinical perspective on the use of the Rasch person-item map to evaluate the range and precision of a new vision function questionnaire in early analysis (prior to full sample). A self-report questionnaire was developed to measure the difficulty that persons with different levels of vision loss have performing daily activities. This 48-item Veterans Affairs Low-Vision Visual Functioning Questionnaire (VA LV VFQ-48) was administered to 117 low-vision patients. Preliminary analysis indicates that the questionnaire items are applicable to persons of differing abilities. The Rasch person-item map demonstrates that the field-test version of the VA LV VFQ-48 has good range and is well centered with respect to the person measure distribution. Construct validity and reliability are also demonstrated.
Key words: low-vision, outcomes measurement, Rasch analysis, rehabilitation.

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