Computer Adaptive Testing |CROR| - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

Skip to Content

Item Banking and CAT for Quality of Life Outcomes


Why is this study needed?

We are developing the capacity to promote efficient and precise assessment of health status through the development of item response theory (IRT)-derived "item banks." An item bank is more than a collection of questions about a particular symptom or functional problem. It is comprised of carefully calibrated questions that develop, define and quantify a common theme and thus provide an operational definition of a trait.

How will this study help patients and rehabilitation stakeholders?

To date, there is no published or completed United States trial in oncology that evaluates the efficacy of routine symptom monitoring with management recommendations. Trials of this type now in progress use less precise symptom measurement. It is therefore timely to conduct a trial using symptom measurement accurate enough for reliable individual assessment, coupled with point-of-care recommendations for management.

What are the project objectives?

  • Objective 1:
    Evaluate whether routine and targeted clinical assessment of physical function, fatigue, pain and emotional distress paired with management recommendations can improve Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQL) and satisfaction outcomes of advanced cancer patients who are receiving chemotherapy.
  • Objective 2:
    Create new item banks and refine existing banks to more fully represent our HRQL model.

How will the project objectives be achieved?

Physical function recommendations will be drawn from emerging evidence regarding the deconditioning effects of cancer and its therapy, and the proven efficacy of light to moderate exercise.

To achieve the second objective we will create item banks to fill out the two remaining sub-domains (Spiritual Well-Being and Disease/Treatment Specific Symptoms) in our overall health-related quality of life (HRQL) model.

What agency funded the project?

National Cancer Institute 

What is the duration of the project?

September 15, 1999 - June 30, 2004 (renewal pending)

Project Staff

David Cella, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, Department of Medical Social Sciences, Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine 
Allen Heinemann, Ph.D., Co-investigator, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
Rita K. Bode, Ph.D., Co-investigator, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

Related Project Research Web Site

Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy

Contact Information

David Cella, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Medical Social Sciences, Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine