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The EORTC emotional functioning computerized adaptive test: phases I-III of a cross-cultural item bank development

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review



  • Eva-Maria Gamper
  • Mogens Groenvold
  • Morten Aa Petersen
  • Teresa Young
  • Anna Costantini
  • Neil Aaronson
  • Johannes M Giesinger
  • Verena Meraner
  • Georg Kemmler
  • Bernhard Holzner
  • EORTC Quality of Life Group
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BACKGROUND: The European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Quality of Life Group is currently developing computerized adaptive testing measures for the Quality of Life Questionnaire Core-30 (QLQ-C30) scales. The work presented here describes the development of an EORTC item bank for emotional functioning (EF), which is one of the core domains of the QLQ-C30.

METHODS: According to the EORTC guidelines on module development, the development of the EF item bank comprised four phases, of which the phases I-III are reported in the present paper. Phase I involved defining the theoretical framework for the EF item bank and a literature search. Phase II included pre-defined item selection steps and a multi-stage expert review process. In phase III, feedback from cancer patients from different countries was obtained.

RESULTS: On the basis of literature search in phase I, a list of 1750 items was generated. These were reviewed and further developed in phase II with a focus on relevance, redundancy, clarity, and difficulty. The development and selection steps led to a preliminary list of 41 items. In phase III, patient interviews (N = 41; Austria, Denmark, Italy, and the UK) were conducted with the preliminary item list, resulting in some minor changes to item wording. The final list comprised 38 items.

DISCUSSION: The phases I-III of the developmental process have resulted in an EF item list that was well accepted by patients in several countries. The items will be subjected to larger-scale field testing in order to establish their psychometric characteristics and their fit to an item response theory model. © 2013 The Authors. Psycho-Oncology published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)397-403
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014

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