Abstract

Innovative applications of Rasch analysis can lead to solutions for traditional measurement problems and can produce new assessment applications in occupational therapy and health care practice. First, Rasch analysis is a mechanism that translates scores across similar functional ability assessments, thus enabling the comparison of functional ability outcomes measured by different instruments. This will allow for the meaningful tracking of functional ability outcomes across the continuum of care. Second, once the item–difficulty order of an instrument or item bank is established by Rasch analysis, computerized adaptive testing can be used to target items to the patient’s ability level, reducing assessment length by as much as one half. More importantly, Rasch analysis can provide the foundation for “equiprecise” measurement or the potential to have precise measurement across all levels of functional ability. The use of Rasch analysis to create scale-free measurement of functional ability demonstrates how this methodology can be used in practical applications of clinical and outcome assessment.

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