Rasch Analysis of Social Attitude Barriers and Facilitators to Participation for Individuals with Disabilities

Published:October 21, 2020DOI:



      To develop item banks of social attitude barriers and facilitators to participation and validate them with established instruments.


      We used the Rasch model to identify misfitting items and rating scale problems, calibrate items, and develop KeyForms and short forms. Correlations between the Social Attitude Barriers and Facilitators item banks with the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Social Health domain and National Institutes of Health Toolbox Emotional Battery Social Relationships domain were computed to evaluate convergent and divergent validity.


      Community-dwelling individuals traveled to 3 academic medical centers for testing.


      Participants (N=558) who had a primary impairment of stroke, spinal cord injury, or traumatic brain injury (mean age, 47.0±16.0y) completed 31 social attitude facilitator and 51 barrier items using a 5-point rating scale.


      Not applicable.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Item banks to measure social attitude barriers and facilitators for individuals with disabilities.


      After combining the “never” and “rarely” rating scale categories, 30 Facilitator items fit the Rasch model and demonstrated person reliability of 0.93. After collapsing the “never” and “rarely” rating scale categories, 45 Barrier items fit the Rasch model and demonstrated person reliability of 0.95. Ceiling and floor effects were negligible for both item banks. Facilitators and Barriers item banks were negatively correlated, and these banks were moderately correlated with PROMIS and Toolbox measures, providing evidence of convergent and divergent validity.


      Findings support the reliability and validity of the Social Attitude Facilitators and Barriers item banks. These item banks allow investigators and clinicians to measure perceptions of social attitudes, providing information that can guide individual interventions to reduce barriers and promote facilitators. Moderate correlations between the Social Attitude banks and PROMIS and Toolbox variables provide support for the measurement and theory of environmental influences on social health and participation.


      List of abbreviations:

      CAT (computer adaptive testing), DIF (differential item functioning), EF (environmental factor), PROMIS (Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System), NIHTB-EB (National Institutes of Health Toolbox – Emotion Battery), SCI (spinal cord injury), SF (short form), TBI (traumatic brain injury)
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