Background: The validity of the CAGE using item response theory (IRT) has not yet been examined in older adult population. Objective: This study aims to investigate the psychometric properties of the CAGE using both non-parametric and parametric IRT models, assess whether there is any differential item functioning (DIF) by age, gender and ethnicity and examine the measurement precision at the cut-off scores. Methods: We used data from the Well-being of the Singapore Elderly study to conduct Mokken scaling analysis (MSA), dichotomous Rasch and 2-parameter logistic IRT models. The measurement precision at the cut-off scores were evaluated using classification accuracy (CA) and classification consistency (CC). Results: The MSA showed the overall scalability H index was 0.459, indicating a medium performing instrument. All items were found to be homogenous, measuring the same construct and able to discriminate well between respondents with high levels of the construct and the ones with lower levels. The item discrimination ranged from 1.07 to 6.73 while the item difficulty ranged from 0.33 to 2.80. Significant DIF was found for 2-item across ethnic group. More than 90% (CC and CA ranged from 92.5% to 94.3%) of the respondents were consistently and accurately classified by the CAGE cut-off scores of 2 and 3. Conclusions: The current study provides new evidence on the validity of the CAGE from the IRT perspective. This study provides valuable information of each item in the assessment of the overall severity of alcohol problem and the precision of the cut-off scores in older adult population.
- differential item functioning
- item response theory
- Mokken scaling analysis
- older adults