Summed-Score Linking Using Item Response Theory

Application to Depression Measurement

by Maria Orlando Edelen, Cathy D. Sherbourne, David Thissen

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An item response theory (IRT) approach to test linking based on summed scores is presented and demonstrated by calibrating a modified 23-item version of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) to the standard 20-item CES-D. Data are from the Depression Patient Outcomes Research Team, II, which used a modified CES-D to measure risk for depression. Responses (N = 1, 120) to items on both the original and modified versions were calibrated simultaneously using F. Samejima's (1964, 1997) graded IRT model. The 2 scales were linked on the basis of derived summed-score-to-IRT-score translation tables. The established cut score of 16 on the standard CES-D corresponded most closely to a summed score of 20 on the modified version. The IRT summed-score approach to test linking is a straightforward, valid, and practical method that can be applied in a variety of situations.

Reprinted with permission from Psychological Assessment, Vol. 12, No. 3, Sept. 2000, pp. 354-359. Copyright © 2000 American Psychological Association, Inc.

Originally published in: Psychological Assessment, Vol. 12, No. 3, Sept. 2000, pp. 354-359.

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