Item banks for alcohol use from the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS®): Use, consequences, and expectancies

Paul A. Pilkonis, Lan Yu, Jason Colditz, Nathan Dodds, Kelly L. Johnston, Catherine Maihoefer, Angela M. Stover, Dennis C. Daley, Dennis McCarty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Background: We report on the development and calibration of item banks for alcohol use, negative and positive consequences of alcohol use, and negative and positive expectancies regarding drinking as part of the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS®). Methods: Comprehensive literature searches yielded an initial bank of more than 5000 items from over 200 instruments. After qualitative item analysis (including focus groups and cognitive interviewing), 141 items were included in field testing. Items for alcohol use and consequences were written in a first-person, past-tense format with a 30-day time frame and 5 response options reflecting frequency. Items for expectancies were written in a third-person, present-tense format with no time frame specified and 5 response options reflecting intensity. The calibration sample included 1407 respondents, 1000 from the general population (ascertained through an internet panel) and 407 from community treatment programs participating in the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Clinical Trials Network (CTN). Results: Final banks of 37, 31, 20, 11, and 9 items (108 total items) were calibrated for alcohol use, negative consequences, positive consequences, negative expectancies, and positive expectancies, respectively, using item response theory (IRT). Seven-item static short forms were also developed from each item bank. Conclusions: Test information curves showed that the PROMIS item banks provided substantial information in a broad range of severity, making them suitable for treatment, observational, and epidemiological research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-177
Number of pages11
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcohol consequences
  • Alcohol expectancies
  • Alcohol use
  • Item response theory
  • Measurement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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