Online Program

Evaluation of PROMIS® Physical Functioning Items when used with Minority Elders

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 1:15 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Sylvia Paz, Department of Medicine, UCLA, La Canada, CA
Loretta Jones, MA, CDU/ Assoc. Professor and Community Faculty, Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles, CA
Jose Calderon, MD, Dept of Research, College of Medicine, Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, Teaneck, NJ
Ron D. Hays, PhD, Department of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

Evaluate quantitatively and qualitatively the use of PROMIS® Physical Function items with minority elders.


A total of 114 physical functioning items were administered to 2,144 adults in the Toluna panel. Item response theory (IRT) assumptions were evaluated, and threshold and discrimination parameters were estimated. Differential Item Functioning (DIF) between Spanish and English, and by age (18-49 and 50 or older) was evaluated. Thirty cognitive interviews were used to assess comprehensibility of 25 items in the PROMIS® Physical Function short forms. The interviews were conducted in South Central and East Los Angeles.


A one-factor categorical model fit the data well (CFI=0.971, TLI=0.970, and RMSEA=0.052).  Based on an R-squared of 0.02 or above criterion, 51 of the 114 items were flagged for language DIF and thirty for age DIF.  The expected physical functioning total score was higher for Spanish than English-language respondents, and for those 18-49 than 50 or older. Cognitive interviews revealed that responses to some of the items were confusing because of the number of words and syllables, and responses were based on use of physical aids.


English versus Spanish-speaking subjects and those 18-49 versus 50 years or older, with the same level of physical functioning, respond differently to several of the physical functioning items. PROMIS® items might not be fully understood by minority elders.  This study yields essential quantitative and qualitative information about the use of these items in a diverse population.

This presentation is part of the symposium Research on Minority Aging from the RCMAR Network (#323590)

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate quantitatively and qualitatively the use of PROMIS® Physical Function items with minority elders.

Keyword(s): Aging, Minority Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the first author of published manuscripts and have received federally funded pilot grants to conduct these studies.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.