Conceptual and methodological considerations regarding appraisal and response shift

  • M. G. E. VerdamEmail author
  • F. J. Oort
Responses to "Advancing quality‑of‑life research by deepening our understanding of response shift" by Bruce D. Rapkin & Carolyn E. Schwartz

When evaluating the impact of disease and treatment on patients’ perceived health trajectories, it is important to also consider possible changes in the meaning of patients’ self-evaluations, i.e., response shift. Response shift has been introduced in health-related quality of life (HRQL) research as an explanation for paradoxical and counter-intuitive findings, such as stable HRQL in spite of life-threatening disease or comparable HRQL in healthy (general) and disease populations [5]. In the current issue, Rapkin and Schwartz (2019) argue that the theory of cognitive appraisal is the “only and best way forward” (p. 3) to elucidate response shift phenomena. However, we have some conceptual and methodological issues regarding the interpretation and operationalization of appraisal and response shift as proposed by Rapkin and Schwartz. Conceptually: What is the relationship between appraisal and response shift? Methodologically: How to investigate appraisal and response shift?



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Conflict of interest

All the authors declared that they have no conflicts of interest.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Methodology and Statistics, Institute of PsychologyLeiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Medical PsychologyAcademic Medical Centre, University of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Research Institute Child Development and EducationUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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