Developing Item Response Theory Software for Outcomes and Behavioral Measurement

Solicitation of the Public Health Service for Small Business Innovation Research contract proposals #211

Proposal receipt date: November 5, 2004

Excerpts from the Solicitation:

The goals of this topic are to develop and/or adapt software that employs both traditional and modern measurement methods [i.e., item response theory (IRT) modeling] to respond to the needs of cancer outcomes, health surveillance, and behavioral researchers. Software should be user-friendly, flexible, and inclusive of a variety of IRT models for both dichotomous and polytomous response data, with sophisticated graphic capabilities, tests of model fit, and extensions of the software for multi-dimensional modeling, testing for differential item functioning, linking questionnaires, and computerized-adaptive testing.

Phase I Activities and Expected Deliverables: The contractor should consult with both leading psychometricians who have experience in IRT modeling and health outcomes, health surveillance, and behavioral researchers who have a range of training in measurement to help shape the functionality and presentation of the software and literature to be developed in Phase II. Deliverables should include: (1) a complete program design and specification, (2) an outline of the manual and primer, and (3) a prototype of the software that responds to the minimal changes recommended in this proposal. Offerors may request a one year Phase I.

Phase II Activities and Expected Deliverables: Develop the full IRT software and supporting documents based on Phase I findings including beta-testing of the software on a variety of datasets among healthcare researchers with a variety of measurement backgrounds. Also, develop a curriculum, evaluation measures, and other educational materials designed to integrate this software into the healthcare community. Deliverables will include: (1) the software, (2) the manual, primer, and other educational materials, and (3) at least one article describing the development and evaluation of the program that is suitable for publication in appropriate scientific journals and/or books.

Phase I awards will be firm fixed price contracts. Normally, Phase II awards will be cost-plus-fixed-fee contracts. Normally, Phase I contracts may not exceed $100,000. Phase II contracts normally may not exceed $750,000. Work must be performed by a Small Business in the USA.

Relevant contact: Bryce Reeve

December 2004: Bryce Reeve, the NIH Project Officer, reports that several responses have been received to the RFA. These will be reviewed in early 2005, with notification of the granting of awards to follow in mid 2005.

RFA: Developing Item Response Theory Software for Outcomes and Behavioral Measurement, Reeve B … Rasch Measurement Transactions, 2004, 18:2 p.978

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Rating Scale Analysis, Wright & Masters Introduction to Rasch Measurement, E. Smith & R. Smith Introduction to Many-Facet Rasch Measurement, Thomas Eckes Invariant Measurement: Using Rasch Models in the Social, Behavioral, and Health Sciences, George Engelhard, Jr. Statistical Analyses for Language Testers, Rita Green
Rasch Models: Foundations, Recent Developments, and Applications, Fischer & Molenaar Journal of Applied Measurement Rasch models for measurement, David Andrich Constructing Measures, Mark Wilson Rasch Analysis in the Human Sciences, Boone, Stave, Yale
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