PROMIS®Pediatric Depressive Symptoms as a Harmonized Score Metric

Aaron J. Kaat, Michael A. Kallen, Cindy J. Nowinski, Stacy A. Sterling, Sherrilyn R. Westbrook, John T. Peters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective: To conduct an evidence-based review of adolescent self-report depression measures and to demonstrate how various measures can be rescored onto a harmonized metric. Method: Six widely used person-reported outcome measures (PROMs) were reviewed. Psychometric properties were evaluated using previously published guidance for PROMs. Next, two secondary data sources (from an outpatient behavioral health clinic and from the general population) were evaluated to harmonize scores across three of the measures. Both item response theory and equipercentile linking methods were used and compared. Results: All six PROMs demonstrated a high evidence base for widespread use depending on the purpose of the assessments. Adolescent involvement when developing the PROM for content validity and floor or ceiling effects were the least frequent available evidence. Three of the PROMs were linked to the PROMIS® Pediatric Depressive Symptoms v2.0 (PROMIS-PedDepSx) metric. The scales were highly correlated and essentially unidimensional when aggregated. All linking methods were broadly comparable. Group-level score conversions are recommended to minimize linking bias. Conclusions: There are a number of strong, widely used PROMs for the evidence-based assessment (EBD) of adolescent depression. However, score comparability is a concern whenever there is a proliferation of measures. Harmonized score metrics support data aggregation and re-analysis. Using four PROMs, one of which served as the scoring metric, we demonstrated the possibility of harmonized depression scores. Future directions for EBD should evaluate whether harmonized PROMs for other pediatric health domains would be useful.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-280
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of pediatric psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020


  • PROMIS pediatric
  • adolescence
  • depression
  • evidence-based assessment
  • linking
  • self-report

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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