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Health SA Gesondheid (Online)

versión On-line ISSN 2071-9736
versión impresa ISSN 1025-9848

Health SA Gesondheid (Online) vol.14 no.1 Cape Town  2009




A composite score for a measuring instrument utilising re-scaled Likert values and item weigths from matrices of pairwise ratios



Piet J. BeckerI, II; Jacobus (Kobus) S. WolvaardtIII; Angie HennessyIV; Carin MareeV

IBiostatistics Unit, Medical Research Council, South Africa
IIDepartment of Clinical Epidemiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
IIIDepartment of Decision Sciences, University of South Africa, South Africa
IVTygerberg Hospital, South Africa
VDepartment of Nursing Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa





A methodology is proposed to develop a measuring instrument (metric) for evaluating subjects from a population that cannot provide data to facilitate the development of such a metric (e.g. pre-term infants in the neonatal intensive care unit). Central to this methodology is the employment of an expert group that decides on the items to be included in the metric, the weights assigned to these items, and an index associated with the Likert scale points for each item. The experts supply pairwise ratios of an importance between items, and the geometric mean method is applied to these to establish the item weights - a well-established procedure in multi-criteria decision analysis. The ratios are found by having a managed discussion before asking the members of the expert panel to mark a visual analogue scale for each item.

Keywords: subjective judgement theory; Likert scale; weights; measuring instrument; pairwise comparison


'n Metode word aangebied waarmee 'n meetinstrument (metriek) ontwikkel kan word vir die evaluering van persone uit 'n populasie wat nie self die data vir die ontwikkeling van die metriek kan voorsien nie (bv. vroeggebore babas in die neonatale intensiewe sorgeenheid). Die kern van hierdie werkswyse is die gebruik van 'n deskundige groep wat die items vir die meetinstrument kies, gewigte aan die items toeken, en vir elke item 'n indeks opstel wat met die Likert-skaal punte geassosieer word. Die deskundiges het paarsgewyse verhoudings tussen items verskaf en die meetkundig-gemiddelde metode is hierop toegepas om die itemgewigte te verkry - 'n goedgevestigde gebruik in meerdoelwitbesluitkunde. Die paarsgewyse verhoudings is gewerf deur die deskundiges, na 'n bestuurde bespreking, vir elke item 'n visuele analoogskaal te laat invul.



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Piet J. Becker
Division of Clinical Epidemiology
University of Pretoria
P.O. Box 667
Pretoria, 0001

Received: 29 July 2008
Accepted: 27 Nov. 2008
Published: 18 June 2009

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