Health Status Measurement, Assessing Meaningful Change

Sensitivity is the ability of an instrument to measure change in a state irrespective of whether it is relevant or meaningful to the decision maker. Responsiveness is the ability of an instrument to measure a meaningful or clinically important change in a clinical state. Responsiveness, like validity and reliability, is not necessarily a generalizable property of an instrument and should be assessed for each population and for each purpose for which it is used. Sensitivity and responsiveness can refer to assessments of groups or individuals. Responsiveness is equivalent to longitudinal construct validity, where the ability of an instrument to measure a clinically meaningful change is evaluated. Sensitivity to change is a necessary but insufficient condition for responsiveness. Some dislike using sensitivity because it might be ...

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