SPECIAL COMMUNICATION| Volume 103, ISSUE 7, P1477-1486, July 2022

Rasch Reporting Guideline for Rehabilitation Research (RULER): the RULER Statement

Published:April 11, 2022DOI:


      The application of Rasch Measurement (RM) Theory to rehabilitation assessments has proliferated in recent years. RM Theory helps design and refine assessments so that items reflect a unidimensional construct in an equal interval metric that distinguishes among persons of different abilities in a manner that is consistent with the underlying trait. Rapid growth of RM in rehabilitation assessment studies has led to inconsistent results reporting. Clear, consistent, transparent reporting of RM Theory results is important for advancing rehabilitation science and practice based on precise measures. Precise measures, in turn, provide researchers, practitioners, patients, and other stakeholders with tools for effective decision making.
      The goal of this Rasch Reporting Guideline for Rehabilitation Research (RULER: Rasch Reporting Guideline for Rehabilitation Research) is to provide peer-reviewed, evidence-based, transparent, and consistent recommendations for reporting studies that apply RM Theory in a rehabilitation context. The purpose of the guideline is to ensure that authors, reviewers, and editors have uniform expectations about how to write and evaluate research on rehabilitation outcome assessments.
      A task force of rehabilitation researchers, clinicians, and editors met regularly between November 2018 and August 2020 to identify the need for the guideline, develop an organizing framework, identify content areas, and develop the recommendations. This RULER: Rasch Reporting Guideline for Rehabilitation Research statement includes the organizing framework and a checklist of 59 recommendations. The guideline is supported by an Explanation and Elaboration article that provides more detail about the framework and recommendations in the checklist. A glossary of key terms and a recommended iterations table are provided in supplemental online only materials.


      List of abbreviations:

      ACRM (American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine), COSMIN (Consensus-Based Standards for the Selection of Health Measurement Instruments), CTT (classical test theory), EQUATOR (Enhancing the Quality and Transparency of Health Research), IRT (item response theory), M-ISIG (Measurement Interdisciplinary Special Interest Group), RM (Rasch Measurement), RULER (Rasch Reporting Guideline for Rehabilitation Research)
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      Linked Article

      • Reporting Guideline for RULER: Rasch Reporting Guideline for Rehabilitation Research: Explanation and Elaboration
        Archives of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationVol. 103Issue 7
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          The first study to use Rasch Measurement (RM) Theory in the context of a rehabilitation outcomes assessment appeared in 1988. Since that time, the number of studies using RM theory as part of the analytical procedures has grown exponentially. In 2019, a total of 109 studies reported applying RM Theory to the analysis of 1 or more outcome assessments in a rehabilitation context. To address the variation in reporting RM Theory that has grown alongside the growth of studies using this method, a task force of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) Measurement Interdisciplinary Special Interest Group (M-ISIG) (previously Measurement Networking Group) convened to develop this reporting guideline.
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