Abandoning the language of “response shift”: a plea for conceptual clarity in distinguishing scale recalibration from true changes in quality of life
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- Ubel, P.A., Peeters, Y. & Smith, D. Qual Life Res (2010) 19: 465. doi:10.1007/s11136-010-9592-x
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.