The aim of this study was to evaluate different approaches to scoring the National Eye Institute Visual Functioning Questionnaire-25 (NEI VFQ-25) in patients with low vision including scoring by the standard method, by Rasch analysis, and by use of an algorithm created by Massof to approximate Rasch person measure. Subscale validity and use of a 7-item short form instrument proposed by Ryan et al. were also investigated.
NEI VFQ-25 data from 50 patients with low vision were analyzed using the standard method of summing Likert-type scores and calculating an overall average, Rasch analysis using Winsteps software, and the Massof algorithm in Excel. Correlations between scores were calculated. Rasch person separation reliability and other indicators were calculated to determine the validity of the subscales and of the 7-item instrument.
Scores calculated using all three methods were highly correlated, but evidence of floor and ceiling effects was found with the standard scoring method. None of the subscales investigated proved valid. The 7-item instrument showed acceptable person separation reliability and good targeting and item performance.
Although standard scores and Rasch scores are highly correlated, Rasch analysis has the advantages of eliminating floor and ceiling effects and producing interval-scaled data. The Massof algorithm for approximation of the Rasch person measure performed well in this group of low-vision patients. The validity of the subscales VFQ-25 should be reconsidered.