A study of scale response for Health Scale of Traditional Chinese Medicine
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OBJECTIVE: To select appropriate descriptors for responses of the Health Scale of Traditional Chinese Medicine (HSTCM). METHODS: A cross-sectional investigation was carried out among 28 hospital staff members by using 151 scale descriptors. This investigation involved all the descriptors from the initial version of HSTCM. Each response scale had five ordinal descriptors, including two anchors at extreme levels and three intermediates. The participants were invited to determine the two anchors of extreme levels, and then to place each descriptor on a 10-centimeter (0 to 10 cm) line according to where they considered the descriptor lay in relation to the two anchors. RESULTS: The selection of scale descriptors was based on comprehensive considerations regarding the median, average score and standard deviation of each descriptor. The main rule of selection was to choose the descriptor of extreme level anchor with a median value closer to 0 or 10, and the same for the selection of descriptors of the intermediates, which should possess a median value closer to 2.5 or 5 or 7.5. If two descriptors had similar median values, we compare the average score and/or the standard deviation of these descriptors and prefer to keep the one containing either an average score closer to anchor point or a less value of standard deviation. Furthermore, the codes of Chinese language were also considered. Four kinds of response scales including capacity, frequency, evaluation, and intensity with a total of 85 scale descriptors were selected. For HSTCM, a total of 8.24% (7/85) descriptors for 14.9% (7/47) items were revised based on the study results. CONCLUSION: The scale descriptors selected are suitable for HSTCM and the results can be referenced in developing similar health profile assessment.
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