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How Questionnaires Work

> Modes of Administration

The FACIT scales are designed for patient self-administration, but can also be administered by interview format (person-to-person and over the telephone). Interview administration is considered appropriate given adequate training of interviewers so as to elicit non-biased patient responses. One of the aims of a large multicenter study of cancer and HIV patients (N=1615) was to test the psychometric properties and statistical equivalence of the English and Spanish language versions of the FACT subscales across literacy level (low vs. high) and mode of administration (self vs. interview). Technical equivalence across mode of administration was demonstrated in the high literacy patients; there were few differences in data quality or psychometric measurement properties of the FACT-G. Technical equivalence between modes of administration with the FACT permits unbiased assessment of the impact of chronic illnesses and their treatments on patients from diverse backgrounds (Hahn, E.A., & Cella, D. (1997). Unbiased quality of life measurement across literacy levels and mode of administration. Quality of Life Research, 6(140), 654.).

We have additional data to support the appropriateness of computer-administered versions of the questionnaire, including a multimedia touchscreen program (Hahn, E.A., et al.: The Talking Touchscreen: a new approach to outcomes assessment in low literacy. Psycho-Oncology.) We are currently exploring other approaches such as computer automated telephone management, and web-based applications of the FACIT scales. Across these modes of administration, while there are always small differences, we have found essential equivalence.