Content » Vol 45, Issue 9

Original report

Rasch analysis of the WHOQOL-BREF in post polio syndrome

Ian M. Pomeroy , Alan Tennant, Carolyn A. Young
Department of Neurology, Walton Centre for Neurology & Neurosurgery, L9 7LJ Liverpool, United Kingdom. E-mail:
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1186


Objective: The World Health Organisation quality of life abbreviated scale (WHOQOL-BREF) was developed as a measure of quality of life across 4 separate health domains; physical health, psychological, social relationships and environment. This study evaluated the validity of the WHOQOL-BREF in post-polio syndrome by testing it for fit against the Rasch model.
Results: The scale was posted to 319 volunteers, 271 (85%) completed the scale with a mean age of 66. 7 years (standard deviation 8. 15); 64% were female. The social relationships domain fitted the Rasch model (χ2 p = 0. 19) but reliability was low (α = 0. 69) and there were insufficient items to test the assumption of unidimensionality. Solutions were derived for physical health (p = 0. 45, t-test = 1. 5%, α = 0. 67), psychological (p = 0. 19, t-test = 4. 9%, α = 0. 78) and environment domains (p = 0. 48, t-test = 6. 0% - lower confidence interval 3. 4%, α = 0. 80) by accounting for local dependence and to cancel out differential item functioning. An overall measure of quality of life, which combined all 4 domains was validated (p = 0. 80, t-test = 4. 6%, α = 0. 81). A transformation table for this total score is provided.
Conclusion: The 4 domains of the WHOQOL-BREF provide valid measures of quality of life in post-polio syndrome. The summed score was more reliable and better targeted and can be used as an ordinal estimate of quality of life.

Lay Abstract


Do you want to comment on this paper? The comments will show up here and if appropriate the comments will also separately be forwarded to the authors. You need to login/create an account to comment on articles. Click here to login/create an account.