The Prodromal Questionnaire: a case for IRT-based adaptive testing of psychotic experiences?

J. van Bebber, J.T.W. Wigman, R.R. Meijer, H.K. Ising, D.P.G. van den Berg, J. Rietdijk, S. Dragt, R.M.C. Klaassen, D.H. Nieman, P. de Jonge, S. Sytema, M. Wichers, D.H. Linszen, M. van der Gaag, L. Wunderink

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Computerized adaptive tests (CATs) for positive and negative psychotic experiences were developed and tested in N = 5705 help-seeking, non-psychotic young individuals. Instead of presenting all items, CATs choose a varying number of different items during test administration depending on respondents' previous answers, reducing the average number of items while still obtaining accurate person estimates.

We assessed the appropriateness of two-parameter logistic models to positive and negative symptoms of the Prodromal Questionnaire (PQ), computed measurement precision of all items and resulting adaptive tests along psychotic dimensions by Real Data Simulations (RDS), and computed indices for criterion and predictive validities of the CATs. For all items, mean absolute differences between observed and expected response probabilities were smaller than 0.02. CAT-POS predicted transition to psychosis and duration of hospitalization in individuals at-risk for psychosis, and CAT-NEG was suggestively related to later functioning. Regarding psychosis risk classifications of help-seeking individuals, CAT-POS performed less than the PQ-16.

Adaptive testing based on self-reported positive and negative symptoms in individuals at-risk for psychosis is a feasible method to select patients for further risk classification. These promising findings need to be replicated prospectively in a non-selective sample that also includes non-at-risk individuals.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1518
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research
Issue number2
Early online date29 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


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