Is the Patient Activation Measure a valid measure of osteoarthritis self-management attitudes and capabilities? Results of a Rasch analysis

J. P. Eyles*, M. Ferreira, K. Mills, B. R. Lucas, S. R. Robbins, M. Williams, H. Lee, S. Appleton, D. J. Hunter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: The Patient Activation Measure (PAM-13) was developed using Rasch analysis to assess knowledge, skills and confidence in the management of one's health. Previous studies report positive relationships between PAM-13 scores, self-management behaviours and longitudinal health outcomes in adults with chronic disease. There is little extant measurement property evidence for the use of PAM-13 in specific osteoarthritis (OA) populations. This study tested measurement properties of the PAM-13 in people living with hip and knee OA. Methods: Item response frequency analysis was conducted. Rasch analysis evaluated the fit of the PAM-13 data to the Rasch model. Model-data fit was evaluated using infit and outfit statistics; person/item reliability and person separation indices were computed. Unidimensionality was evaluated using Principal Components Analysis of Rasch residuals and the data were assessed for item redundancy. Differential Item Functioning (DIF) examined bias in respondent subgroups and correlations tested relationships between PAM-13 and other patient-reported outcomes. Results: Two-hundred-and-seventeen PAM-13 surveys were completed; there were no missing responses, floor or ceiling effects. Person and item reliability were acceptable (0.98 and 0.87 respectively) with good separation (person separation index 2.58). Unidimensionality was evaluated, with 49.4% of the variance explained by the first eigenvector. There was evidence of potential local response-dependence. The Rasch fit statistics were acceptable (except for item-2). There were some issues identified with targeting of the PAM-13 items to people with higher ability and the item difficulty order was different to that proposed in original cohorts. Significant DIF was identified for sex and educational level for a small number of items. PAM-13 scores were moderately correlated with depressive symptoms on the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale and Assessment of Quality of Life-6D. There were small correlations between PAM-13 and Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score pain and activities of daily living scores. Conclusions: This study provides some evidence of adequate person and item reliability, unidimensionality, and construct validity to support the use of PAM-13 to measure patient activation in people living with hip and knee OA. Possible limitations regarding targeting, different item difficulty order, DIF and local response dependence should be investigated in future research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalHealth and Quality of Life Outcomes
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2020

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2020. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Measurement properties
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Patient activation
  • Psychometrics
  • Rasch


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