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The views expressed here are those of the author only and do not represent any official position of the National Cancer Institute or National Institutes of Health.
There is no advantage at this time to abandon the term “response shift” as suggested by Ubel et al. (Qual Life Res, 2010). The term is well known in the research field and has impacted the way we think about measuring quality of life (QOL) longitudinally. However, Ubel et al. (Qual Life Res, 2010) have provided the incentive to start an open dialogue on the subject with opportunities to refine the language of response shift and educate researchers. In this article, we identify opportunities in designing research studies to minimize or account for response shifts by considering the (1) selection of QOL concepts to measure, (2) questionnaires used to assess the QOL concepts, (3) design of the research study, (4) target population, and (5) analyses and reporting of results. Careful consideration of each of these issues will help us identify new methodologies and improved study designs that will move the QOL research field forward.
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Ubel, P. A., Peeters, Y., & Smith, D. (2010). Abandoning the language of “response shift”: A plea for conceptual clarity in distinguishing scale recalibration from true changes in quality of life. Quality of Life Research. doi: 10.1007/s11136-010-9592-x.
Sprangers, M. A. G., & Schwartz, C. E. (2010). Do not throw out the baby with the bath water: Build on current approaches to realize conceptual clarity. Response to Ubel, Peeters, and Smith. Quality of Life Research. doi: 10.1007/s11136-010-9611-y.
Schwartz, C. E., & Sprangers, M. A. G. (2010). Guidelines for improving the stringency of response shift research using the Then-test. Quality of Life Research. doi: 10.1007/s11136-010-9585-9.
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- An opportunity to refine our understanding of “response shift” and to educate researchers on designing quality research studies: response to Ubel, Peeters, and Smith
Bryce B. Reeve
- Springer Netherlands