Quality of Life Research

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 465–471

Abandoning the language of “response shift”: a plea for conceptual clarity in distinguishing scale recalibration from true changes in quality of life

Authors

    • Center for Behavioral and Decision Sciences in MedicineUniversity of Michigan
    • Department of PsychologyUniversity of Michigan
    • VA Health Services Research and Development Center of Excellence, VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System
  • Yvette Peeters
    • Center for Behavioral and Decision Sciences in MedicineUniversity of Michigan
    • Department of Medical Decision MakingLeiden University Medical Centre
  • Dylan Smith
    • Center for Behavioral and Decision Sciences in MedicineUniversity of Michigan
    • VA Health Services Research and Development Center of Excellence, VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System
Commentary

DOI: 10.1007/s11136-010-9592-x

Cite this article as:
Ubel, P.A., Peeters, Y. & Smith, D. Qual Life Res (2010) 19: 465. doi:10.1007/s11136-010-9592-x

Abstract

Quality of life researchers have been studying “response shift” for a decade now, in an effort to clarify how best to measure QoL over time and across changing circumstances. However, we contend that this line of research has been impeded by conceptual confusion created by the term “response shift”, that lumps together sources of measurement error (e.g., scale recalibration) with true causes of changing QoL (e.g., hedonic adaptation). We propose abandoning the term response shift, in favor of less ambiguous terms, like scale recalibration and adaptation.

Keywords

Response shift Hedonic adaptation Scale recalibration Validity

Copyright information

© US Government 2010