Publications by authors named "William P Fisher"

22 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Measuring Genuine Progress: An Example from the UN Millennium Development Goals.

Authors:
William P Fisher

J Appl Meas 2019 ;20(4):426-449

William P. Fisher, Jr., Living Capital Metrics LLC, Sausalito CA 94965 USA,

Proposals for incorporating information on the quality of human, social, and environmental conditions in more authentic and comprehensive versions of the Gross National Product (GNP) or Gross Domestic Product (GDP) date back to the foundations of econometrics. Typically treated as external to markets, these domains have lately been objects of renewed interest. Calls for accountability and transparency have expanded to include the now topical but previously neglected economic implications of human, social, and natural capital. Clear advantages for the measurement and management of these forms of capital can be drawn from econometric criteria for identifiable models of structurally invariant relationships. The United Nation's Millennium Development Goals (MDG) provide an example application of a probabilistic model for measurement used to evaluate data quality, reduce data volume with no loss of information, estimate linear units of comparison with known uncertainties, express measures from different sets of indicators in a common metric, and frame a meaningful interpretive context. Data on 22 MDG indicators from 64 countries are scored and analyzed. Model fit was reasonable, the item hierarchy tells a meaningful story of structural invariance in economic development, and Cronbach's alpha was 0.93. The measures estimated in this study correlated over 0.90 with independently produced measures of per-capita GDP and life satisfaction. These results provide a positive demonstration of relevant methods applicable in the context of today's Sustainable Development Goals 2030 Agenda.
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December 2019

Theory-based metrological traceability in education: A reading measurement network.

Measurement (Lond) 2016 Oct;92:489-496

MetaMetrics, Inc., Durham, NC, USA; School of Education, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.

Huge resources are invested in metrology and standards in the natural sciences, engineering, and across a wide range of commercial technologies. Significant positive returns of human, social, environmental, and economic value on these investments have been sustained for decades. Proven methods for calibrating test and survey instruments in linear units are readily available, as are data- and theory-based methods for equating those instruments to a shared unit. Using these methods, metrological traceability is obtained in a variety of commercially available elementary and secondary English and Spanish language reading education programs in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Australia. Given established historical patterns, widespread routine reproduction of predicted text-based and instructional effects expressed in a common language and shared frame of reference may lead to significant developments in theory and practice. Opportunities for systematic implementations of teacher-driven lean thinking and continuous quality improvement methods may be of particular interest and value.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.measurement.2016.06.036DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4973804PMC
October 2016

Causal Rasch models.

Front Psychol 2013 23;4:536. Epub 2013 Aug 23.

MetaMetrics Inc. Durham, NC, USA ; School of Education, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, NC, USA.

Rasch's unidimensional models for measurement show how to connect object measures (e.g., reader abilities), measurement mechanisms (e.g., machine-generated cloze reading items), and observational outcomes (e.g., counts correct on reading instruments). Substantive theory shows what interventions or manipulations to the measurement mechanism can be traded off against a change to the object measure to hold the observed outcome constant. A Rasch model integrated with a substantive theory dictates the form and substance of permissible interventions. Rasch analysis, absent construct theory and an associated specification equation, is a black box in which understanding may be more illusory than not. Finally, the quantitative hypothesis can be tested by comparing theory-based trade-off relations with observed trade-off relations. Only quantitative variables (as measured) support such trade-offs. Note that to test the quantitative hypothesis requires more than manipulation of the algebraic equivalencies in the Rasch model or descriptively fitting data to the model. A causal Rasch model involves experimental intervention/manipulation on either reader ability or text complexity or a conjoint intervention on both simultaneously to yield a successful prediction of the resultant observed outcome (count correct). We conjecture that when this type of manipulation is introduced for individual reader text encounters and model predictions are consistent with observations, the quantitative hypothesis is sustained.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00536DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3750201PMC
August 2013

Construction and validation of two parent-report scales for the evaluation of early intervention programs.

J Appl Meas 2012 ;13(1):57-76

Graduate School of Education, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.

The State Performance Plan (SPP) developed under the 2004 reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004, Public Law 108-446) requires states to collect data and report on the impact of early intervention services on three key outcomes for participating families. The NCSEAM Impact on Family Scale (NIFS) and the NCSEAM Family Centered Services Scale (NFCSS) were developed to provide states with a means to address this new reporting requirement and to collect additional data that would inform program improvement efforts. Items suggested by stakeholder groups were piloted with a nationally representative sample of parents of children with developmental delays or disabilities ages birth to three participating in early intervention services in eight states. The 28-item NIFS had measurement reliabilities ranging from .93-.96 in a sample of 1,750; measurement reliabilities for the 135-item NFCSS ranged from .94 to .97 in a sample of 1,755 respondents. A 29-item version of the NFCSS had measurement reliabilities ranging from .87 to .92. Using data from the pilot study, stakeholders established a recommended performance standard, set at a meaningful point in the NIFS item hierarchy, for each of the three established outcome areas.
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September 2012

Measuring schools' efforts to partner with parents of children served under IDEA: scaling and standard setting for accountability reporting.

J Appl Meas 2011 ;12(3):261-78

Department of Teaching and Learning, University of Miami, P. O. Box 248065, Coral Gables, FL 33146-2040, USA.

Indicator 8 of the State Performance Plan (SPP), developed under the 2004 reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004, Public Law 108-446) requires states to collect data and report findings related to schools' facilitation of parent involvement. The Schools' Efforts to Partner with Parents Scale (SEPPS) was developed to provide states with a means to address this new reporting requirement. Items suggested by stakeholder groups were piloted with a nationally representative sample of 2,634 parents of students with disabilities ages 5-21 in six states. Rasch scaling was used to calibrate a meaningful and invariant item hierarchy. The 78 calibrated items had measurement reliabilities ranging from .94-.97. Using data from the pilot study, stakeholders established a recommended performance standard set at a meaningful point in the item hierarchy. Implications of the findings are discussed in relation to the need for rigorous metrics within state accountability systems.
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April 2012

Bringing human, social, and natural capital to life: practical consequences and opportunities.

Authors:
William P Fisher

J Appl Meas 2011 ;12(1):49-66

BEAR Center, POME, Graduate School of Education, 3602A, Tolman Hall, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720-1670, USA.

Capital is defined mathematically as the abstract meaning brought to life in the two phases of the development of "transferable representations," which are the legal, financial, and scientific instruments we take for granted in almost every aspect of our daily routines. The first, conceptual and gestational, and the second, parturitional and maturational, phases in the creation and development of capital are contrasted. Human, social, and natural forms of capital should be brought to life with at least the same amounts of energy and efficiency as have been invested in manufactured and liquid capital, and property. A mathematical law of living capital is stated. Two examples of well-measured human capital are offered. The paper concludes with suggestions for the ways that future research might best capitalize on the mathematical definition of capital.
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June 2011

Embedding measurement within existing computerized data systems: scaling clinical laboratory and medical records heart failure data to predict ICU admission.

J Appl Meas 2010 ;11(3):271-87

LivingCapitalMetrics.com, Sausalito, CA 94965, USA.

This study employs existing data sources to develop a new measure of intensive care unit (ICU) admission risk for heart failure patients. Outcome measures were constructed from laboratory, accounting, and medical record data for 973 adult inpatients with primary or secondary heart failure. Several scoring interpretations of the laboratory indicators were evaluated relative to their measurement and predictive properties. Cases were restricted to tests within first lab draw that included at least 15 indicators. After optimizing the original clinical observations, a satisfactory heart failure severity scale was calibrated on a 0-1000 continuum. Patients with unadjusted CHF severity measures of 550 or less were 2.7 times more likely to be admitted to the ICU than those with higher measures. Patients with low HF severity measures (550 or less) adjusted for demographic and diagnostic risk factors are about six times more likely to be admitted to the ICU than those with higher adjusted measures. A nomogram facilitates routine clinical application. Existing computerized data systems could be programmed to automatically structure clinical laboratory reports using the results of studies like this one to reduce data volume with no loss of information, make laboratory results more meaningful to clinical end users, improve the quality of care, reduce errors and unneeded tests, prevent unnecessary ICU admissions, lower costs, and improve patient satisfaction. Existing data typically examined piecemeal form a coherent scale measuring heart failure severity sensitive to increased likelihood of ICU admission. Marked improvements in ROC curves were found for the aggregate measures relative to individual clinical indicators.
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October 2010

Reducible or irreducible? Mathematical reasoning and the ontological method.

Authors:
William P Fisher

J Appl Meas 2010 ;11(1):38-59

LivingCapitalMetrics.com.

Science is often described as nothing but the practice of measurement. This perspective follows from longstanding respect for the roles mathematics and quantification have played as media through which alternative hypotheses are evaluated and experience becomes better managed. Many figures in the history of science and psychology have contributed to what has been called the "quantitative imperative," the demand that fields of study employ number and mathematics even when they do not constitute the language in which investigators think together. But what makes an area of study scientific is, of course, not the mere use of number, but communities of investigators who share common mathematical languages for exchanging quantitative and quantitative value. Such languages require rigorous theoretical underpinning, a basis in data sufficient to the task, and instruments traceable to reference standard quantitative metrics. The values shared and exchanged by such communities typically involve the application of mathematical models that specify the sufficient and invariant relationships necessary for rigorous theorizing and instrument equating. The mathematical metaphysics of science are explored with the aim of connecting principles of quantitative measurement with the structures of sufficient reason.
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April 2010

The Moral Construct of Caring in Nursing as Communicative Action: the theory and practice of a caring science.

ANS Adv Nurs Sci 2008 Oct-Dec;31(4):E19-36

LSUHSC School of Nursing, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112, USA.

This article presents an instrument and data testing a theory of the Moral Construct of Caring in Nursing as Communicative Action. Pilot testing involved 185 items administered to 82 nurses in 3 countries. The instrument includes 7 subscales addressing the nurse's personal and professional selves, the patient's personal and illness selves, the bidirectional interaction, the moral maturity of both, and the current state of nursing practice. Results suggest that the theory provides predictive control of the phenomena, drawing attention to the founding of evidence-based practice on practical, workable theory. Research continues, focusing on refining construct definitions and improving reliabilities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/01.ANS.0000341418.88715.c9DOI Listing
March 2009

Mindfulness practice: a Rasch variable construct innovation.

J Appl Meas 2007 ;8(4):359-72

Bloomsburg University, Bloomsburg, PA 17815, USA.

Is it possible to establish a consistent, stable relationship between the structure of number and additive amounts of mindfulness practice? A bank of thirty items, constructed from a review of the literature and from novice practitioners' journal responses to mindfulness practice, comprised the instrument. A convenience sample of students in a teacher education program participated. The WINSTEPS Rasch measurement software was used for all analyses. Measurement separation reliability was 0.92 and item separation reliability was 0.98, with satisfactory model fit. The 30 items measure a single construct of mindfulness practice. Construct validity was supported by the meaningfulness of the items perceived as easy to hard. The same scale was produced when the items were calibrated separately on the T1 and T2 groups (Rsq = 0.83). The experimental group's T2 measures were significantly different from both its own T1 measures and the control group's T1 and T2 measures. ANOVA showed significance for variance between the experimental and control groups for T2 (F = 43.66, 151 d.f., p < .001) for a nearly two-logit (20 unit) difference (48.9 vs. 68.0). The study is innovative in its demonstration of mindfulness practice as a measurable variable.
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February 2008

Obscurity vs transparency in health measurement.

Authors:
William P Fisher

MedGenMed 2006 Oct 16;8(4):12. Epub 2006 Oct 16.

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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1868386PMC
October 2006

Attitudes toward the autopsy--an 8-state survey.

MedGenMed 2006 Sep 21;8(3):80. Epub 2006 Sep 21.

Strategy and Business Economics Division, Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Context: National autopsy rates have declined for several decades, and the reasons for such decline remain contentious.

Objective: To elicit the opinions of one group of crucial decision makers as to the reasons for this decline and possible modes of reversal.

Design: A 2-part survey, composed of multiple choice questions and questions requesting specific data on autopsy rates and costs.

Setting: Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Participants: Hospital administrators within the 8 states.

Main Outcome Measures: Six-point survey scale relating to reasons for autopsy decline and possible remedial measures, as well as estimates of autopsy rates and costs.

Results: The response rate was 43% and the median autopsy rate was 2.4% (mean 6.1%). The median cost of autopsy was estimated at $852 (mean $1275). Larger hospitals were associated with higher autopsy rates than smaller hospitals (9.6% vs 4.0%), and teaching hospitals had a significantly higher autopsy rate than nonteaching institutions (11.4% vs 3.8%). Autopsy rates also varied by type of hospital control, with federal government hospitals having the highest autopsy rate at 15.1%. Sixty-six percent of all respondents agreed that current autopsy rates were adequate. Of the respondents, the highest percent (86%) agreed that improved diagnostics contributed to the decline in autopsies, and the highest percent (78%) agreed that direct payment to pathologists for autopsies under the physician fee schedule might lead to an increase in autopsies.

Conclusions: Our data support the conclusion that the decline in autopsy performance is multifactorial, although the variable that dominates in this analysis is the contentious perception that improved diagnostic technology renders the autopsy redundant. The rate of autopsy is conditional, at least in part, on individual hospital characteristics such as large hospital size, teaching status, and federal ownership. Three underlying factors may explain these associations: resources, mission, and case mix. An important factor in declining autopsy rates appears to be the changing economic landscape, with its increased focus on cost control within both the public and private healthcare sectors.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1781284PMC
September 2006

Assessing measurement properties of two single-item general health measures.

Qual Life Res 2006 Mar;15(2):191-201

Section of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Tulane University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA.

Background: Multi-item health status measures can be lengthy, expensive, and burdensome to collect. Single-item measures may be an alternative. We compared measurement properties of two single-item, general self-rated health (GSRH) questions to assess how well they captured information in a validated, multi-item instrument.

Methods: We administered a general health survey (SF-12V) that included "standard" and "comparative" forms of a GSRH. We repeated the survey two weeks later to the same 75 medically stable outpatients to test for GSRH reproducibility, reliability, and validity using SF-12V Physical Functioning and Emotional Health subscales as a reference.

Results: At each survey administration, the two GSRH questions demonstrated good alternate forms reliability (first administration: r = 0.74, p < 0.001; second administration: r = 0.74, p < 0.001) and good reproducibility ("standard": ICC 0.69; "comparative": ICC 0.85). Both GSRH items correlated with physical functioning ("standard": r = 0.66; "comparative": r = 0.56) and emotional health measures ("standard": r = 0.65; "comparative": r = 0.59). Mean subscale measures associated with responses in each GSRH category were significantly different (ANOVA, p < 0.001), indicating strong discriminant scale performance.

Conclusions: Our single-item, GSRH questions demonstrated good reproducibility, reliability, and strong concurrent and discriminant scale performance with an established health status measure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11136-005-0887-2DOI Listing
March 2006

Evaluation of the Diabetes Self-Care Scale.

J Appl Meas 2005 ;6(4):366-81

NorthShore Regional Medical Center, USA.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the psychometric properties of the Diabetes Self-Care Scale (DSCS). A convenience sample of 175 adults with diabetes who met the inclusion criteria from a local hospital in southern Louisiana participated in this study. Data from a pilot study with 50 respondents were also used to calibrate the instrument. The analysis tested the hypothesis that the difference between any respondent's agreement with an item and the difficulty presented by that item is equal to the natural logarithm of the odds of a response. Results indicated that respondent separation reliability is acceptable (.80) and item separation reliability is high (.99). All 35 items measure a single construct of diabetes self-care. Construct validity was supported by the meaningfulness of the item endorsability order and by the consistency of that order across respondents. Seven recommendations for modification of the instrument, future research, and practice are proposed.
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December 2005

Commentary.

Authors:
William P Fisher

Qual Life Res 2005 Jun 1;14(5):1219-21. Epub 2005 Jun 1.

MetaMetrics Inc., 100 park 40 Plaza Drive, Suite 120, Durham, NC, 27713, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11136-005-4715-5DOI Listing
June 2005

Daredevil barnstorming to the tipping point: new aspirations for the human sciences.

Authors:
William P Fisher

J Appl Meas 2005 ;6(2):173-9

MetaMetrics, Inc., 1000 Park Forty Plaza, Suite 120, Durham, NC 27713, USA.

Aviation history provides an apt metaphor for the state of Rasch measurement practice, and its potential future. Flying was initially widely believed to be nothing but a spectacular and dangerous fad. Few saw in it any potential for the huge industry that it is today. The current state of Rasch measurement practice is quite akin to daredevil barnstorming in that the field is focused on isolated demonstrations of disconnected technical effects. Only when the analogues of air traffic control, airports, support staff, training programs, textbooks, and partner industries (hotels, restaurants) are in place will Rasch measurement come into its own as the technical medium of a widespread industry. The point at which current practice tips into a new paradigm depends on the realization of operationally validated theory in a supportive social context. The paper closes with speculations on what crossing Rasch measurement's tipping point might entail.
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June 2005

Calibrating the genome.

J Appl Meas 2004 ;5(2):129-41

V. A. Metrics Inc., 1057 Wilbur Ave., San Diego, CA 92109, USA.

Purpose: This project demonstrates how to calibrate different samples and scales of genomic information to a common scale of genomic measurement.

Materials And Methods: 1,113 persons were genotyped at the 13 Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) short tandem repeat (STR) marker loci used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for human identity testing. A measurement model of form ln[(P(nik))/(1-P(nik))] = B(n)-D(i)-L(k) is used to construct person measures and locus calibrations from information contained in the CODIS database. Winsteps (Wright and Linacre, 2003) is employed to maximize initial estimates and to investigate the necessity and sufficiency of different rating classification schema.

Results: Model fit is satisfactory in all analyses. Study outcomes are found in Tables 1-6.

Conclusions: Additive, divisible, and interchangeable measures and calibrations can be created from raw genomic information that transcend sample- and scale-dependencies associated with racial and ethnic descent, chromosomal location, and locus-specific allele expansion structures.
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May 2004

Evaluation of the diabetes self care scale: an illustration of the Rasch model of measurement.

J Nurs Meas 2002 ;10(3):171-87

Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, USA.

This pilot study illustrates the use of a Rasch measurement model to evaluate the psychometric properties of the Diabetes Self Care Scale (DSCS). A convenience sample of 50 adults with diabetes at two local hospitals (one for profit and one public) in southern Louisiana responded to the survey questions. The instrument is comprised of 27 items and 6 rating categories. The Bigsteps Rasch measurement software was used for all analyses. Results indicated that respondent separation reliability was low (0.63), but item separation reliability was satisfactory (0.91). Internal validity was supported. Twenty-six items measure a single construct of diabetes self care. Construct validity was supported by the meaningfulness of the item difficulty order and by the consistency of that order across respondents. Rating scale analysis revealed that middle categories were not distinct steps in the progression of increasing diabetes self care. In addition to deleting an item producing inconsistent responses and combining adjacent categories (categories 1 and 2, and categories 3, 4, and 5), four recommendations for future research are provided.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1891/jnum.10.3.171.52558DOI Listing
September 2003

Are physicians equipped to address the obesity epidemic? Knowledge and attitudes of internal medicine residents.

Prev Med 2003 Jun;36(6):669-75

Department of Internal Medicine, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA.

Background: To analyze whether internists are suited for their role in treating the growing numbers of obese patients, we surveyed residents about their knowledge and attitudes regarding obesity. Previous assessments have not analyzed familiarity with obesity measurement tools or the correlation between knowledge and attitudes.

Methods: We administered a survey to 87 internal medicine residents in two urban, university-based residency programs.

Results: Almost all respondents understood the medical consequences of obesity, but 60% did not know the minimum BMI for diagnosing obesity, 69% did not recognize waist circumference as a reasonable measure of obesity, and 39% incorrectly reported their own BMI. Although nearly all respondents agreed that treating obesity was important, only 30% reported treatment success. Forty-four percent felt qualified to treat obese patients, and 31% reported treatment to be futile. Knowledge and attitudes were not correlated. Rasch analysis of knowledge and attitude subscales showed satisfactory model fit and item reliability of at least 0.96.

Conclusions: Despite solid knowledge of the comorbid conditions associated with obesity, residents have a poor grasp of the tools necessary to identify obesity. They also have negative opinions about their skills for treating obese patients. Residency training not only must improve knowledge of obesity measurement tools but also must address physicians' negative attitudes toward obesity treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0091-7435(03)00055-0DOI Listing
June 2003
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