Toward standardized reporting for a cohort study on functioning: The Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Cohort Study

  • Objective: Functioning is an important outcome to measure in cohort studies. Clear and operational outcomes are needed to judge the quality of a cohort study. This paper outlines guiding principles for reporting functioning in cohort studies and addresses some outstanding issues. Design: Principles of how to standardize reporting of data from a cohort study on functioning, by deriving scores that are most useful for further statistical analysis and reporting, are outlined. The Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Cohort Study Community Survey serves as a case in point to provide a practical application of these principles. Methods and Results: Development of reporting scores must be conceptually coherent and metrically sound. The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) can serve as the frame of reference for this, with its categories serving as reference units for reporting. To derive a score for further statistical analysis and reporting, items measuring a single latent trait must be invariant across groups. The Rasch measurement model is well suited to test these assumptions. Conclusion: Our approach is a valuable guide for researchers and clinicians, as it fosters comparability of data, strengthens the comprehensiveness of scope, and provides invariant, interval-scaled data for further statistical analyses of functioning.

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Author:Birgit Prodinger, C. S. Ballert, M. Brach, M. W. G. Brinkhof, A. Cieza, K. Hug, X. Jordan, M. W. M. Post, A. Scheel-Sailer, M. Schubert, A. Tennant, G. Stucki
Parent Title (English):Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine
Document Type:Article (peer reviewed)
Publication Year:2016
Tag:Comparability; Epidemiology; Health information systems; Informed decision-making; Rasch analysis
First Page:189
Last Page:196
Peer reviewed:Ja
faculties / departments:Fakultät für Angewandte Gesundheits- und Sozialwissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit