Guttman Scale Analysis of the Distance Vision Scale


Purpose: The Distance Vision Scale (DVS) is a self-assessment of visual acuity (VA). Like VA testing in which letter reading becomes progressively difficult through the test, DVS questions have a hierarchy of difficulty (Guttman scale). The aims were to determine whether the DVS fulfills Guttman scaling criteria and to test the relationship between DVS score and VA in a cataract population.

Methods: Responses of 113 participants to the DVS were subjected to Guttman analysis. Standard criteria of scalability were evaluated that included the coefficient of reproducibility (CR), minimal marginal reproducibility (MMR), and coefficient of scalability (CS). The relationship between total item score and binocular visual acuity was determined.

Results: Five participants were excluded because of missing data. Regularity in the banding pattern of the scalogram of the 108 participants was suggestive of a deterministic Guttman scale. Analyses showed that DVS satisfies the criteria for classification as a valid unidimensional and cumulative scale, as CS (0.93), CR (0.99), and MMR (0.85) values fall within the desired range. The statistically significant correlation between the total item score and binocular VA was 0.24.

Conclusions: The DVS fits the Guttman scale, supporting the deterministic model underlying the scale. It correlates poorly with VA, suggesting it taps aspects of visual performance and other issues beyond high-contrast VA. The DVS could be used as an outcome measure to evaluate change over time and could be used to set achievable treatment objectives because of its hierarchical properties.

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2009;50:4496-501.
Accepted for publication June 12, 2009.

Vijaya K. Gothwal,1,2 Thomas A. Wright,1 Ecosse L. Lamoureux,3,4,5 Konrad Pesudovs1
1 National Health and Medical Research Council (NH&MRC) Centre for Clinical Eye Research, Department of Ophthalmology, Flinders Medical Centre and Flinders University of South Australia, Bedford Park, South Australia, Australia;
2 Meera and L. B. Deshpande Centre for Sight Enhancement, Vision Rehabilitation Centres, L. V. Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, India;
3 Centre for Eye Research Australia, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia;
4 Vision CRC, Sydney, Australia;
5Singapore Eye Research Institute, Singapore National Eye Centre, Singapore.


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