Revision of the ICIDH Severity of Disabilities Scale by data linking and item response theory

S. Van Buuren, M. Hopman-Rock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The Severity of Disabilities Scale (SDS) of the ICIDH reflects the degree to which an individual's ability to perform a certain activity is restricted. This paper describes the application of two models from item response theory (IRT), the graded response model and the partial credit model, in order to derive a tentative proposal for a revised SDS. The key ingredient of the approach is to scale existing disability items obtained in different studies on a common scale by exploiting the overlap. Both IRT models are fitted to a linked data set containing items for measuring walking disability. Based on these solutions, a tentative SDS is constructed. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications, limitations and advantages of the approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1061-1076
Number of pages16
JournalStatistics in medicine
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001

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