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Psychometrically Relevant Differences between Source and Migrant Populations

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Patrick Brzoska

Psychometrically relevant population differences may limit the transferability of research instruments between migrants and their source population and may contribute to a low performance of quantitative questionnaires. Based on a review of existing taxonomies, this book develops a comprehensive analytical framework of equivalence that can serve multiple purposes. It allows to examine psychometrically relevant population differences, it can assist in the re-adaptation of questionnaires and it is a valuable tool for cross-group comparative research. The application of the framework is illustrated through the examination of equivalence of the Revised Illness Perception Questionnaire (IPQ-R) between chronically ill Turks residing in Turkey and Turkish migrants residing in Germany.
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Researchers working on the health of migrants often apply quantitative questionnaires validated only for the source populations of migrants. However, after years in the host country, migrants may differ in cultural and language characteristics from the source population. These differences may be relevant for the psychometric properties of questionnaires and hence may limit their transferability between both population groups. The aim of the investigation outlined in the present book is to empirically examine the degree and type of these psychometrically relevant differences between source and migrant populations. For this purpose, two major objectives are pursued. First, a comprehensive analytical framework of questionnaire equivalence is developed based on a review of existing taxonomies. The framework covers conceptual, semantic, operational and measurement properties of questionnaires. Second, the framework is applied to examine psychometrically relevant differences between source and migrant populations using the assessment of illness perceptions by means of the Turkish version of the Revised Illness Perception Questionnaire (IPQ-R) in chronically ill Turks residing in Turkey and Turkish migrants residing in Germany as an example.

The investigation uses a mixed-method approach. The conceptual equivalence of the IPQ-R between both populations was examined by means of a systematic literature review and qualitative semi-structured interviews with Turks residing in Turkey (n=30) and Turkish migrants residing in Germany (n=24). In addition, experts (n=6) were surveyed on the illness perceptions of Turkish migrant patients by means of semi-structured interviews. Semantic equivalence was examined by a systematic review of linguistic...

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