Progress in Medical Rehabilitation: Issues in Measurement

"Progress in Medical Rehabilitation: Issues in Measurement" was the title of a conference sponsored by the Buffalo General Hospital Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, and the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, State University of New York at Buffalo (June 18-19, 1992). The tone of the conference was one of confidence in the potential of Rasch measurement models for making sense of functional assessment data. As Julia Costich said, "This conference will be seen in the future as a watershed event in the history of functional assessment because of the clear advances made in understanding of the data."

Benjamin D. Wright was a guest of honor and spoke on "Turning Scores into Measures: Reasons for Rasch Analysis." Carl Granger, the host and M.C., handed the microphone over to Ben Wright for his comments after every paper, so the effect was one of being at a two day Rasch seminar on the analysis and interpretation of functional assessment scales. Topics discussed included Rasch measurement basics, self-scoring forms for functional assessment, three kinds of functional status measures for pediatric applications, rater calibration, fit analysis, and functional assessment instrument validities.

Papers were presented by Carl Granger, Allen Heinemann, Stephen Haley, Michael Linacre, Michael Msall, Burton Silverstein, Suzann Campbell and Beth Osten, Judith Laughlin, Margaret Stineman, Mark Johnston, Robert Keith, Kenneth Ottenbacher, Julia Costich, James Green, J.E. (Ben) Marosszeky, and William Fisher for Anne Fisher. Gayle Whiteneck, who has published an article on the quantification of handicap using Rasch analysis, was a member of the audience.

A key topic that recurred in several presentations concerned the high correlation (.93) between two different instruments' Rasch item difficulty estimates; each instrument is intended to measure rehabilitation patients' motor skills (ambulation, moving from sitting to standing, etc), and each has items that address roughly the same areas of activity as items on the other instrument. The high correlation suggests that the two instruments are measuring the same construct, even though the ratings from which the different instruments' item calibrations were made were supplied by hundreds of therapists rating thousands of patients in dozens of facilities. The high correlation suggests that each of these two instruments is a form of one larger instrument.

Can we now verify that two or more instruments conceptualized to measure the same construct actually do so? Could new instruments, with characteristics identical to these two instruments, be constructed by selecting items from a bank of similar motor skills items? Would scaling all instruments of a similar type together arrive at a shared unit of measurement? Will such measures provide a means to evaluate and compare patient progress under alternative treatments? These are exciting times for the evaluation of physical medicine and rehabilitation.

Progess in Medical Rehabilitation, W Fisher Jr. … Rasch Measurement Transactions, 1992, 6:2 p. 214

Rasch Publications
Rasch Measurement Transactions (free, online) Rasch Measurement research papers (free, online) Probabilistic Models for Some Intelligence and Attainment Tests, Georg Rasch Applying the Rasch Model 3rd. Ed., Bond & Fox Best Test Design, Wright & Stone
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
in Spanish: Análisis de Rasch para todos, Agustín Tristán Mediciones, Posicionamientos y Diagnósticos Competitivos, Juan Ramón Oreja Rodríguez

To be emailed about new material on
please enter your email address here:

I want to Subscribe: & click below
I want to Unsubscribe: & click below

Please set your SPAM filter to accept emails from welcomes your comments:

Your email address (if you want us to reply):


ForumRasch Measurement Forum to discuss any Rasch-related topic

Go to Top of Page
Go to index of all Rasch Measurement Transactions
AERA members: Join the Rasch Measurement SIG and receive the printed version of RMT
Some back issues of RMT are available as bound volumes
Subscribe to Journal of Applied Measurement

Go to Institute for Objective Measurement Home Page. The Rasch Measurement SIG (AERA) thanks the Institute for Objective Measurement for inviting the publication of Rasch Measurement Transactions on the Institute's website,

Coming Rasch-related Events
Oct. 6 - Nov. 3, 2023, Fri.-Fri. On-line workshop: Rasch Measurement - Core Topics (E. Smith, Facets),
Oct. 12, 2023, Thursday 5 to 7 pm Colombian timeOn-line workshop: Deconstruyendo el concepto de validez y Discusiones sobre estimaciones de confiabilidad SICAPSI (J. Escobar, C.Pardo)
June 12 - 14, 2024, Wed.-Fri. 1st Scandinavian Applied Measurement Conference, Kristianstad University, Kristianstad, Sweden
Aug. 9 - Sept. 6, 2024, Fri.-Fri. On-line workshop: Many-Facet Rasch Measurement (E. Smith, Facets),


The URL of this page is