Tests of measurement invariance failed to support the application of the "then-test"

Nolte, Sandra, Elsworth, Gerald, Sinclair, Andrew and Osborne, Richard 2009, Tests of measurement invariance failed to support the application of the "then-test", Journal of clinical epidemiology, vol. 62, no. 11, pp. 1173-1180.

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Title Tests of measurement invariance failed to support the application of the "then-test"
Author(s) Nolte, Sandra
Elsworth, Gerald
Sinclair, Andrew
Osborne, Richard
Journal name Journal of clinical epidemiology
Volume number 62
Issue number 11
Start page 1173
End page 1180
Total pages 8
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2009-11
ISSN 0895-4356
1878-5921
Keyword(s) chronic disease
patient education
program evaluation
response shift
retrospective pre-test
statistical bias
Summary Objective
The use of then-test (retrospective pre-test) scores has frequently been proposed as a solution to potential confounding of change scores because of response shift, as it is assumed that then-test and post-test responses are provided from the same perspective. However, this assumption has not been formally tested using robust quantitative methods. The aim of this study was to compare the psychometric performance of then-test/post-test with traditional pre-test/post-test data and assessing whether the resulting data structures support the application of the then-test for evaluations of chronic disease self-management interventions.

Study Design and Setting
Pre-test, post-test, and then-test data were collected from 314 participants of self-management courses using the Health Education Impact Questionnaire (heiQ). The derived change scores (pre-test/post-test; then-test/post-test) were examined for their psychometric performance using tests of measurement invariance.

Results
Few questionnaire items were noninvariant across pre-test/post-test, with four items identified and requiring removal to enable an unbiased comparison of factor means. In contrast, 12 items were identified and required removal in then-test/post-test data to avoid biased change score estimates.

Conclusion
Traditional pre-test/post-test data appear to be robust with little indication of response shift. In contrast, the weaker psychometric performance of then-test/post-test data suggests psychometric flaws that may be the result of implicit theory of change, social desirability, and recall bias.
Language eng
Field of Research 111707 Family Care
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
HERDC collection year 2009
Copyright notice ©2009, Elsevier Inc.
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30019539

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences
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