Improving the Action Research Arm test: a unidimensional hierarchical scale: A unidimensional hierarchical scale

J.H. van der Lee, L.D. Roorda, H. Beckerman, G.J. Lankhorst, L.M. Bouter

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80 Citations (Scopus)


The Action Research Arm (ARA) test is a performance test of upper extremity motor function which consists of 19 items divided into four hierarchical subtests. This multidimensionality has not yet been tested empirically. To investigate the dimensionality of the ARA test. Cross-sectional study involving a sample of 63 chronic stroke patients. A Mokken scale analysis was performed. The Mokken scale analysis revealed one strong unidimensional scale containing all 19 items, of which the scalability coefficient H was 0.79, while H per item ranged from 0.69 to 0.86. The reliability coefficient rho equalled 0.98, indicating a very high internal consistency. A subset of 15 out of 19 items showed an invariant hierarchical item-ordering. The ARA test is a unidimensional scale. The use of subtests, as proposed in the original description of the instrument, is not supported by the present findings. The 15-item scale presented here can be used for adaptive testing, i.e. using only a selected subset of items based on prior knowledge about the patient's abilities, thus minimizing testing time
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)646-653
Number of pages8
JournalClinical rehabilitation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2002

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