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Rasch analysis of the UK Functional Assessment Measure in patients with complex disability after stroke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Rehabilitation Medicine
Early online date28 Feb 2018
Accepted/In press12 Jan 2018
E-pub ahead of print28 Feb 2018

King's Authors


OBJECTIVES: To determine whether the UK Functional Assessment Measure (UK FIM+FAM) fits the Rasch model in stroke patients with complex disability and, if so, to derive a conversion table of Rasch-transformed interval level scores.

METHODS: The sample included a UK multicentre cohort of 1,318 patients admitted for specialist rehabilitation following a stroke. Rasch analysis was conducted for the 30-item scale including 3 domains of items measuring physical, communication and psychosocial functions. The fit of items to the Rasch model was examined using 3 different analytical approaches referred to as "pathways".

RESULTS: The best fit was achieved in the pathway where responses from motor, communication and psychosocial domains were summarized into 3 super-items and where some items were split because of differential item functioning (DIF) relative to left and right hemisphere location (χ2 (10) = 14.48, p = 0.15). Re-scoring of items showing disordered thresholds did not significantly improve the overall model fit.

CONCLUSION: The UK FIM+FAM with domain super-items satisfies expectations of the unidimensional Rasch model without the need for re-scoring. A conversion table was produced to convert the total scale scores into interval-level data based on person estimates of the Rasch model. The clinical benefits of interval-transformed scores require further evaluation.

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