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Logo for the Journal of Rehab R&D
Volume 42 Number 4, July/August 2005
Pages 487 — 498


Abstract - Evaluating psychometric properties of a clinical and a self-report blind rehabilitation outcome measure

Judi Babcock-Parziale, PhD;1-2* Patrick E. McKnight, PhD;2 Daniel N. Head, EdD1

1Southern Arizona Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care System, Southwestern Blind Rehabilitation
Center (3-124), Tucson, AZ; 2University of Arizona, Department of Psychology, Tucson, AZ
Abstract — This study assessed the psychometric properties and evaluated the compatibility of two blind and low-vision rehabilitation outcome instruments, the VA-13 and the Functional Assessment of Self-Reliance on Tasks (FAST). Legally blind veterans (N = 190) from a Department of Veterans Affairs inpatient blind rehabilitation center completed the VA-13 (a retrospective pretest and posttest) at 6 weeks postdischarge. Clinicians rated veterans on the FAST at admission and discharge. The psychometric properties of the two instruments and their compatibility were evaluated with the use of a Rasch model analysis. The two instruments functioned consistently as screens and showed a ceiling effect at posttest; however, the VA-13 showed poor sensitivity to change. In contrast, the FAST showed more reliable change, but a few items changed in unexpected ways. Our conclusions show that the two instruments are currently not compatible for calibration; however, this can be improved with proper attention to scaling inadequacies, test administration times, and content coverage.
Key words: aged, blind rehabilitation, clinician ratings, low vision, measurement, psychometrics, Rasch model, rehabilitation, self-report ratings, treatment outcomes.

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