An Investigation of Age-Related Differential Item Functioning in the EQ-5D-5L Using Item Response Theory and Logistic Regression

PENTON, Hannah, DAYSON, Christopher, HULME, Claire and YOUNG, Tracey (2022). An Investigation of Age-Related Differential Item Functioning in the EQ-5D-5L Using Item Response Theory and Logistic Regression. Value in Health, 25 (9), 1566-1574.

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In economic evaluations, quality of life is measured using patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs), such as the EQ-5D-5L. A key assumption for the validity of PROMs data is measurement invariance, which requires that PROM items and response options are interpreted the same across respondents. If measurement invariance is violated, PROMs exhibit differential item functioning (DIF), whereby individuals from different groups with the same underlying health respond differently, potentially biasing scores. One important group of healthcare consumers who have been shown to have different views or priorities over health is older adults. This study investigates age-related DIF in the EQ-5D-5L using item response theory (IRT) and ordinal logistic regression approaches. Methods Multiple-group IRT models were used to investigate DIF, by assessing whether older adults aged 65+ years and younger adults aged 18 to 64 years with the same underlying health had different IRT parameter estimates and expected item and EQ-5D-5L level sum scores. Ordinal logistic regression was also used to examine whether DIF resulted in meaningful differences in expected EQ level sum scores. Effect sizes examined whether DIF indicated meaningful score differences. Results The anxiety/depression item exhibited meaningful DIF in both approaches, with older adults less likely to report problems. Pain/discomfort and mobility exhibited DIF to a lesser extent. Conclusions When using the EQ-5D-5L to evaluate interventions and make resource allocation decisions, scoring bias due to DIF should be controlled for to prevent inefficient service provision, where the most cost-effective services are not provided, which could be detrimental to patients and the efficiency of health budgets.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Health Policy & Services; 1117 Public Health and Health Services; 1402 Applied Economics
Identification Number:
Page Range: 1566-1574
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 04 May 2022 11:42
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2023 10:31

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