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Concept: Measuring instrument


BACKGROUND: The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) is commonly used as a screening instrument, as a continuous measure of change in depressive symptoms over time, and as a means to compare the relative efficacy of treatments. Among several abridged versions, the 6-item HAM-D6 is used most widely in large degree because of its good psychometric properties. The current study compares both self-report and clinician-rated versions of the Hebrew version of this scale. METHODS: A total of 153 Israelis 75 years of age on average participated in this study. The HAM-D6 was examined using confirmatory factor analytic (CFA) models separately for both patient and clinician responses. RESULTS: Reponses to the HAM-D6 suggest that this instrument measures a unidimensional construct with each of the scales' six items contributing significantly to the measurement. Comparisons between self-report and clinician versions indicate that responses do not significantly differ for 4 of the 6 items. Moreover, 100% sensitivity (and 91% specificity) was found between patient HAM-D6 responses and clinician diagnoses of depression. CONCLUSION: These results indicate that the Hebrew HAM-D6 can be used to measure and screen for depressive symptoms among elderly patients.

Concepts: Likert scale, Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale, Measuring instrument, Measurement, Major depressive disorder, Type I and type II errors, Hospital, Psychometrics


To study the relationships between 1-2 year changes in well-known physician-rated measurements (Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), Timed 25-Foot Walk (T25FW), 9-Hole Peg Test (9HPT)) and the long-term (≥ 5 years) outcome in patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures (Multiple Sclerosis Impact Scale (MSIS-29), Multiple Sclerosis Walking Scale (MSWS-12)) that reflect the patient-perceived impact of disease, in progressive MS.

Concepts: Measuring instrument, Time, Test method, Expanded Disability Status Scale, Psychometrics, Multiple sclerosis, Walking


A simplified method for measuring the fluidic resistance (R(fluidic)) of microfluidic channels is presented, in which the electrical resistance (R(elec)) of a channel filled with a conductivity standard solution can be measured and directly correlated to R(fluidic) using a simple equation. Although a slight correction factor could be applied in this system to improve accuracy, results showed that a standard voltage meter could be used without calibration to determine R(fluidic) to within 12% error. Results accurate to within 2% were obtained when a geometric correction factor was applied using these particular channels. When compared to standard flow rate measurements, such as meniscus tracking in outlet tubing, this approach provided a more straightforward alternative and resulted in lower measurement error. The method was validated using 9 different fluidic resistance values (from ∼40 to 600kPasmm(-3)) and over 30 separately fabricated microfluidic devices. Furthermore, since the method is analogous to resistance measurements with a voltage meter in electrical circuits, dynamic R(fluidic) measurements were possible in more complex microfluidic designs. Microchannel R(elec) was shown to dynamically mimic pressure waveforms applied to a membrane in a variable microfluidic resistor. The variable resistor was then used to dynamically control aqueous-in-oil droplet sizes and spacing, providing a unique and convenient control system for droplet-generating devices. This conductivity-based method for fluidic resistance measurement is thus a useful tool for static or real-time characterization of microfluidic systems.

Concepts: Measuring instrument, Electrical resistance, Microfluidics, Ohmmeter, Electrical measurements, Test method, Metrology, Measurement


BACKGROUND: The Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive Behavior section (ADAS-Cog) is the most widely used measure of cognitive performance in AD clinical trials. This key role has rightly brought its performance under increased scrutiny with recent research using traditional psychometric methods, questioning the ADAS-Cog’s ability to adequately measure early-stage disease. However, given the limitations of traditional psychometric approaches, herein we use the more sophisticated Rasch Measurement Theory (RMT) methods to fully examine the strengths and weaknesses of the ADAS-Cog, and identify potential paths toward its improvement. METHODS: We analyzed AD Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) ADAS-Cog data (675 measurements across four time-points over 2 years) from the AD participants. RMT analysis was undertaken to examine three broad areas: adequacy of scale-to-sample targeting; degree to which, taken together, the ADAS-Cog items adequately perform as a measuring instrument; and how well the scale measured the subjects in the current sample. RESULTS: The 11 ADAS-Cog components mapped-out a measurement continuum, worked together adequately, and were stable across different time-points and samples. However, the scale did not prove to be a good match to the patient sample supporting previous research. RMT analysis also identified problematic “gaps” and “bunching” of the components across the continuum. CONCLUSION: Although the ADAS-Cog has the building blocks of a good measurement instrument, this sophisticated analysis confirms limitations with potentially serious implications for clinical trials. Importantly, and unlike traditional psychometric methods, our RMT analysis has provided important clues aimed at solving the measurement problems of the ADAS-Cog.

Concepts: Metrology, Measuring instrument, Test method, Psychometrics, Measurement


For the first time compressed sampling (CS) has been applied to heart rate (HR) measurements. The signals can be reconstructed from samples far below the Nyquist rate with negligible small errors, a sampling reduction of 8 has been demonstrated in the paper. As a result, the bitrate of the CS sampler is half when compared to a normal sampler. A lower bitrate leads to a reduction in power consumption for HR measurement devices.

Concepts: Nyquist frequency, Measuring instrument, Nyquist rate, English-language films, Quantity, Aliasing, Measurement, Nyquist–Shannon sampling theorem


The purpose of this paper is to describe the theoretical development and initial validation of the newly developed Work-Life Balance Culture Scale (WLBCS), an instrument for measuring an organizational culture that promotes the work-life balance of employees.

Concepts: Human Development Index, Organizational studies, Measuring instrument


We aimed to review tools used to assess balance in clinical practice in children and adults with cerebral palsy (CP), to describe their content and measurement properties and to evaluate the quality of the studies that have examined these properties. CINAHL, Embase, and PubMed/MEDLINE were searched. The COnsensus-based Standards for selection of health Measurement INstruments (COSMIN) was used to assess the ‘quality of studies’ and the Terwee criteria were used to assess the ‘result of studies’. Twenty-two clinical balance tools were identified from 35 papers. The content and focus of the tools varied significantly. There was moderate or limited levels of evidence for most of the measurement properties of the tools; the strongest level of evidence was found for the Trunk Control Measurement Scale and the Level of Sitting Scale, in the category ‘maintain balance’, the Timed Up and Go and the Segmental Assessment of Trunk Control in the categories ‘achieve balance’ and ‘restore balance’ respectively. Information on responsiveness was scarce. Further studies providing better evidence for reliability and responsiveness for clinical balance tools are needed. In the meantime, results of studies evaluating effects of treatment of balance in individuals with CP should be interpreted with caution.

Concepts: Category, Assessment, Meantime, Evidence-based medicine, Measuring instrument, Cerebral palsy, Psychometrics, Evaluation


Objective: To examine the relationship between Five times sit-to-stand Test (FTSST) and functional tests and investigate the effects of task-specific training on functional ability in children with mild to moderate cerebral palsy (CP). Methods: Twenty-one subjects were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. Motor Assessment Scale (MAS: sit-to-stand), Pediatric Balance Scale (PBS), Functional Reach Test and FTSST were tested before training, after training and at follow-up at 6 weeks post training. Results: FTSST correlated significantly with MAS (ρ = -0.733) and with PBS (ρ = -0.813) in all children with CP. There were no significant differences in all outcomes between groups. However, FTSST and MAS in children with Gross Motor Function Classification System-Expanded and Revised levels I-II were significantly different between pre and post training within the experimental group (p = 0.03). Conclusions: FTSST is a reliable and valid functional outcome measure after the task-specific training in children with mild to moderate CP.

Concepts: Experiment, Measuring instrument, Test method, Cerebral palsy


This study aimed to explore the effects of mirror therapy integrated with task-oriented exercise on balance function in poststroke hemiparesis. Twenty patients with poststroke hemiparesis were assigned randomly to an experimental group (EG) and a control group (CG), with 10 individuals each. Participants of the EG and CG received a task-oriented exercise program with a focus on the strengthening of the lower limb and the practice of balance-related functional tasks. An additional option for the EG was front and side wall mirrors to provide visual feedback for their own movements while performing the exercise. The program was performed for 30 min, twice a day, five times per week for 4 weeks. Outcome measures included the Berg balance scale, the timed up-and-go test, and quantitative data (balance index and dynamic limits of stability). In the EG and CG, all variables showed significant differences between pretest and post-test (P<0.05), and post-test values of all variables appeared to be significantly different between two groups (P<0.05). Furthermore, in the EG, the change values between pretest and post-test values of Berg balance scale (13.00±3.20 vs. 6.60±4.55 scores), and timed up-and-go test (6.45±3.00 vs. 3.61±1.84 s), balance index (2.29±0.51 vs. 0.96±0.65 scores), dynamic limits of stability (7.70±3.83 vs. 3.70±4.60 scores) were significantly higher than those of the CG (P<0.05). The findings suggest that a mirror therapy may be used as a beneficial therapeutic option to facilitate the effects of a task-oriented exercise on balance function of patients with poststroke hemiparesis.

Concepts: 2003 albums, Mirror, Mass, Experiment, Measuring instrument, Sociology, Balance, Therapy


Cardiovascular morbidity and mortality was reduced by 25% when blood pressure (BP) was targeted to 120 mm Hg systolic compared with 140 mm Hg systolic in Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT); however, BP was measured using a research technique. SPRINT specified 5 minutes of seated rest in a quiet room followed by 3 oscillometric measurements without an observer in the room. The relationship of this research-grade methodology to routine BP measurements is not known.

Concepts: Timeline of temperature and pressure measurement technology, Measuring instrument, Measurement, Blood, Quantity, Blood pressure