Quality of Life Research

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 315–329 | Cite as

Multidimensional Computerized Adaptive Testing of the EORTC QLQ-C30: Basic Developments and Evaluations

  • Morten Aa. Petersen
  • Mogens Groenvold
  • Neil Aaronson
  • Peter Fayers
  • Mirjam Sprangers
  • Jakob B. Bjorner
  • for the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Group


Objective: Self-report questionnaires are widely used to measure health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Ideally, such questionnaires should be adapted to the individual patient and at the same time scores should be directly comparable across patients. This may be achieved using computerized adaptive testing (CAT). Usually, CAT is carried out for a single domain at a time. However, many HRQOL domains are highly correlated. Multidimensional CAT may utilize these correlations to improve measurement efficiency. We investigated the possible advantages and difficulties of multidimensional CAT. Study design and setting: We evaluated multidimensional CAT of three scales from the EORTC QLQ-C30: the physical functioning, emotional functioning, and fatigue scales. Analyses utilised a database with 2958 European cancer patients.Results: It was possible to obtain scores for the three domains with five to seven items administered using multidimensional CAT that were very close to the scores obtained using all 12 items and with no or little loss of measurement precision.Conclusion: The findings suggest that multidimensional CAT may significantly improve measurement precision and efficiency and encourage further research into multidimensional CAT. Particularly, the estimation of the model underlying the multidimensional CAT and the conceptual aspects need further investigations.


EORTC QLQ-C30 Measurement Multidimensional CAT Multidimensional IRT Quality of life 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Morten Aa. Petersen
    • 1
  • Mogens Groenvold
    • 1
    • 2
  • Neil Aaronson
    • 3
  • Peter Fayers
    • 4
  • Mirjam Sprangers
    • 5
  • Jakob B. Bjorner
    • 6
    • 7
  • for the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Group
  1. 1.The Research Unit, Department of Palliative MedicineBispebjerg HospitalCopenhagenDenmark
  2. 2.Institute of Public HealthUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark
  3. 3.Division of Psychosocial Research & EpidemiologyThe Netherlands Cancer InstituteAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Department of Public HealthUniversity of Aberdeen Medical SchoolAberdeenUK
  5. 5.Department of Medical Psychology, Academic Medical CenterUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  6. 6.National Institute of Occupational HealthCopenhagenDenmark
  7. 7.QualityMetric IncorporatedLincolnUSA

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