Correcting bias in self-rated quality of life: an application of anchoring vignettes and ordinal regression models to better understand QoL differences across commuting modes

Crane, Melanie, Rissel, Chris, Greaves, Stephen, and Gebel, Klaus (2016) Correcting bias in self-rated quality of life: an application of anchoring vignettes and ordinal regression models to better understand QoL differences across commuting modes. Quality of Life Research, 25 (2). pp. 257-266.

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Abstract

Purpose: Likert scales are frequently used in public health research, but are subject to scale perception bias. This study sought to explore scale perception bias in quality-of-life (QoL) self-assessment and assess its relationships with commuting mode in the Sydney Travel and Health Study.

Methods: Multilevel ordinal logistic regression analysis was used to analyse the association between two global QoL items about overall QoL and health satisfaction, with usual travel mode to work or study. Anchoring vignettes were applied using parametric and simpler nonparametric methods to detect and adjust for differences in reporting behaviour across age, sex, education, and income groups.

Results: The anchoring vignettes exposed differences in scale responses across demographic groups. After adjusting for these biases, public transport users (OR = 0.37, 95 % CI 0.21–0.65), walkers (OR = 0.44, 95 % CI 0.24–0.82), and motor vehicle users (OR = 0.47, 95 % CI 0.25–0.86) were all found to have lower odds of reporting high QoL compared with bicycle commuters. Similarly, the odds of reporting high health satisfaction were found to be proportionally lower amongst all competing travel modes: motor vehicle users (OR = 0.31, 95 % CI 0.18–0.56), public transport users (OR = 0.34, 95 % CI 0.20–0.57), and walkers (OR = 0.35, 95 % CI 0.20–0.64) when compared with cyclists. Fewer differences were observed in the unadjusted models.

Conclusion: Application of the vignettes by the two approaches removed scaling biases, thereby improving the accuracy of the analyses of the associations between travel mode and quality of life. The adjusted results revealed higher quality of life in bicycle commuters compared with all other travel mode users.

Item ID: 40408
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: quality of life; differential item functioning; anchoring vignettes; commuting; cycling; ordinal logistic regression
Additional Information:

© The Author(s) 2015. Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

ISSN: 1573-2649
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), Transport for NSW, Australian Heart Foundation, NSW Health, Premiers Council for Active Living, City of Sydney
Projects and Grants: LP120200237
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2015 04:48
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920408 Health Status (e.g. Indicators of Well-Being) @ 40%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified @ 30%
88 TRANSPORT > 8899 Other Transport > 889999 Transport not elsewhere classified @ 30%
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