Cross-national health comparisons using the Rasch model: findings from the 2012 US Health and Retirement Study and the 2012 Mexican Health and Aging Study

TitleCross-national health comparisons using the Rasch model: findings from the 2012 US Health and Retirement Study and the 2012 Mexican Health and Aging Study
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsHong, I, Reistetter, TA, Díaz-Venegas, C, Michaels-Obregon, A, Wong, R
JournalQuality of Life Research
Volume27
Issue9
Pagination2431-2441
Date Published09/2018
ISSN Number09629343
KeywordsArthritis, Chronic conditions, Comparisons, Disabilities
Abstract

Purpose

Cross-national comparisons of patterns of population aging have emerged as comparable national micro-data have become available. This study creates a metric using Rasch analysis and determines the health of American and Mexican older adult populations.

Methods

Secondary data analysis using representative samples aged 50 and older from 2012 U.S. Health and Retirement Study (n = 20,554); 2012 Mexican Health and Aging Study (n = 14,448). We developed a function measurement scale using Rasch analysis of 22 daily tasks and physical function questions. We tested psychometrics of the scale including factor analysis, fit statistics, internal consistency, and item difficulty. We investigated differences in function using multiple linear regression controlling for demographics. Lastly, we conducted subgroup analyses for chronic conditions.

Results

The created common metric demonstrated a unidimensional structure with good item fit, an acceptable precision (person reliability = 0.78), and an item difficulty hierarchy. The American adults appeared less functional than adults in Mexico (β = − 0.26, p < 0.0001) and across two chronic conditions (arthritis, β = − 0.36; lung problems, β = − 0.62; all p < 0.05). However, American adults with stroke were more functional than Mexican adults (β = 0.46, p = 0.047).

Conclusions

The Rasch model indicates that Mexican adults were more functional than Americans at the population level and across two chronic conditions (arthritis and lung problems). Future studies would need to elucidate other factors affecting the function differences between the two countries.

URLhttps://link-springer-com.proxy.lib.umich.edu/article/10.1007%2Fs11136-018-1878-4
Citation Key9629
PubMed ID29748824