Developing an Item Bank and Short Forms That Assess the Impact of Asthma on Quality of Life

Published in: Respiratory Medicine, v. 108, no. 2, Feb. 2014, p. 252-263

by Brian D. Stucky, Maria Orlando Edelen, Cathy D. Sherbourne, Nicole K. Eberhart, Marielena Lara

Read More

Access further information on this document at

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

The present work describes the process of developing an item bank and short forms that measure the impact of asthma on quality of life (QoL) that avoids confounding QoL with asthma symptomatology and functional impairment. Using a diverse national sample of adults with asthma (N = 2032) we conducted exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, and item response theory and differential item functioning analyses to develop a 65-item unidimensional item bank and separate short form assessments. A psychometric evaluation of the RAND Impact of Asthma on QoL item bank (RAND-IAQL) suggests that though the concept of asthma impact on QoL is multi-faceted, it may be measured as a single underlying construct. The performance of the bank was then evaluated with a real-data simulated computer adaptive test. From the RAND-IAQL item bank we then developed two short forms consisting of 4 and 12 items (reliability = 0.86 and 0.93, respectively). A real-data simulated computer adaptive test suggests that as few as 4–5 items from the bank are needed to obtain highly precise scores. Preliminary validity results indicate that the RAND-IAQL measures distinguish between levels of asthma control. To measure the impact of asthma on QoL, users of these items may choose from two highly reliable short forms, computer adaptive test administration, or content-specific subsets of items from the bank tailored to their specific needs.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.