Purpose: To investigate the validity of comparisons across patients with different musculoskeletal disorders and persons from the general population by evaluating differential item functioning (DIF) for the PROMIS physical function (PROMIS-PF), pain interference (PROMIS-PI), and pain behavior (PROMIS-PB) item banks. Methods: Patients with chronic pain, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or osteoarthritis (OA); patients receiving physiotherapy (PT); and persons from the Dutch general population completed the full Dutch-Flemish PROMIS-PF (121-items), PROMIS-PI (40-items), or PROMIS-PB (39-items) banks. DIF was assessed with ordinal logistic regression models and McFadden’s pseudo R 2 -change of ≥ 2% as critical value. The impact of DIF on item scores and the T-scores per bank was examined by inspecting item characteristic curves (ICCs) and test characteristic curves (TCCs). Results: 2762 patients with chronic pain, 2029 with RA, 1247 with OA, 805 receiving PT, and 1310 healthy persons participated. For the PROMIS-PF, 25 out of 121 items were flagged for DIF, of which 10 items were flagged in multiple comparisons. For the PROMIS-PI, only 2 out of 40 items were flagged for DIF and for the PROMIS-PB, only 3 out of 39 items. Most DIF items had R 2 values just above the critical value of 2% and all showed uniform DIF. The ICCs and TCCs showed that the magnitude and impact of DIF on the item and T-scores were negligible. Conclusions: This study supports the universal applicability of PROMIS across (patient) populations. Comparisons across patients with different musculoskeletal disorders and persons from the general population are valid, when applying the PROMIS-PF, PROMIS-PI, and PROMIS-PB banks.
Crins, M. H. P., Terwee, C. B., Ogreden, O., Schuller, W., Dekker, P., Flens, G., ... Roorda, L. D. (2019). Differential item functioning of the PROMIS physical function, pain interference, and pain behavior item banks across patients with different musculoskeletal disorders and persons from the general population. Quality of Life Research, 28(5), 1231-1243. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11136-018-2087-x