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Annu Rev Clin Psychol. 2009;5:27-48. doi: 10.1146/annurev.clinpsy.032408.153553.

Item response theory and clinical measurement.

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Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


In this review, we examine studies that use item response theory (IRT) to explore the psychometric properties of clinical measures. Next, we consider how IRT has been used in clinical research for: scale linking, computerized adaptive testing, and differential item functioning analysis. Finally, we consider the scale properties of IRT trait scores. We conclude that there are notable differences between cognitive and clinical measures that have relevance for IRT modeling. Future research should be directed toward a better understanding of the metric of the latent trait and the psychological processes that lead to individual differences in item response behaviors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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