Rasch Analysis of the Brain Injury Screening Tool (BIST) in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
Shaikh, N; Theadom, A; Siegert, R; Hardaker, N; King, D; Hume, P
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Objective To evaluate the psychometric properties of the Brain Injury Screening Tool (BIST) symptom scale in a sample of people with a mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) through Rasch analysis, and to obtain an interval level measurement score for potential clinical use. Materials and methods Data were obtained from 114 adults aged over 16 years, who had experienced at least one mTBI in the past 10 years. Participants were recruited via social media, concussion clinics and sports organisations over a 4-month period between May and September 2020. Participants were asked to compete the symptom scale of the BIST tool via an anonymous online questionnaire. Internal construct validity, dimensionality, person separation index, and differential item functioning of the BIST were examined with Rasch analysis. Results BIST in its original form produced a satisfactory item-trait interaction, and good reliability, but was found to be multi-dimensional. Rasch analysis of the full scale with three domains as subtests resulted in acceptable model fit (χ2(6) =3.8, p > 0.05), with good reliability (Person Separation Index = 0.84), and uni-dimensionality. Differential Item Functioning (DIF) analysis displayed no significant DIF effects for sex or age revealing that people responded consistently and similarly to the individual BIST items based on severity of symptom burden. Conclusions The 15-item symptom scale of the BIST tool is a psychometrically sound measure of symptom burden following mTBI. The findings provide support for use of both total and sub scale scores for clinical use. Ordinal to interval score conversions are recommended for use when using the scores for research purposes in mTBI.