WV40: Clinimetrics: Assessing Measurement Properties of Health Measurement Instruments (ONLINE COURSE)

Because of the Corona virus, we have decided to offer the WV40 course online in January 2021. This is because there is often a lot of interest from foreign students for this course and it is almost impossible to find a suitable space where sufficient distance can be kept.

The lectures will be offered online and the working groups will be offered live via Zoom. The working groups can be followed over 6 or 3 days.
The dates will be spread over a period of 2 weeks and when you register you can indicate which cycle would suit you best.

All extra information about the online course in January/February 2021 you find under the heading 'Online course in 2021'.

Clinimetrics is the scientific discipline that aims to (1) develop methods of assessing the properties of health measurement instruments, (2) apply those methods to develop new, or evaluate existing, health measurement instruments, with the aim (3) to improve the quality of measurements.

(If there is [full] to a course, please do sign up, but you will be placed on a waiting list. Once there is an open spot we will contact you. At that point you can decide whether to participate in the course.)

Online Course with 6 working groups between 25 January and 5 February Tuition fee: € 750,-
Course coordinator:
Mw. prof. ir. H.C.W. de Vet, PhD
Learning method:
Lectures and Group work
Written exam (facultative)
Examination dates:
See schedule at 'Tentamens'
Number of EC:
This year it will be an online course
  • Course description

    Clinimetrics is the scientific discipline that aims to (1) develop methods of assessing the properties of health measurement instruments, (2) apply those methods to develop new, or evaluate existing, health measurement instruments, with the aim (3) to improve the quality of measurements. The choice of an appropriate measurement instrument is a key issue in all scientific research. Measurement instruments are required to assess outcomes (e.g. to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions), to diagnose, and to prognosticate. Approaches to gathering data vary widely, from physical examinations to laboratory tests, from imaging techniques to self-report questionnaires. Clinical and health researchers always need to find the best instruments for their particular research and, if none are available, develop new ones.

    The course is on evaluation of the quality of measurement instruments and on the design and evaluation of the quality of clinimetric studies. The emphasis is on knowing “what to measure”, by a detailed definition of the construct of interest, based on conceptual models. We continue by discussing measurement theories such as classical test theory and item response theory. For multi item instruments, dimensionality (factor analysis) internal consistency are important issues. Specific sessions will focus on reliability (particularly the distinction between reliability and measurement error), validity (with the emphasis on content validity and hypotheses testing) and responsiveness. We will also pay attention to the interpretability of an instrument’s scores.

    There will be lectures with working groups in between, to discuss the content of the lectures and to practice with assessment and interpretation of the various measurement properties. For one assignment, i.e. on the calculation and interpretation of measurement error and reliability, a computer with SPSS is required.

  • Online Course in 2021

    In connection with the Corona virus, it was decided to offer the course completely online in January/February 2021

    The course was originally scheduled for 3 full days. Because it is tiring to sit behind a screen all days to follow a course, we also offer the possibility to spread the course over 2 weeks, from 25 January until 4 February.

    The online course roughly looks like this:

    • The lectures of the course are recorded. You can view them at a time of your choice via Canvas, our digital learning environment. The lectures will be available no later than January 18.
    • The working groups take place online, in the form of Zoom meetings, led by one of the teachers of the course. It is expressly intended that you have already viewed the lectures via Canvas before you participate in the associated working group.
    • We will provide you with a timetable with an overview of which lectures must have been studied for which working group.
    • There are a total of 6 work groups in the course. We offer 3 variants to follow these 6 working groups:
      Group 1: 25, 26, 27 January, 1, 2, 3 February 2021 at 5 pm (Amsterdam time!)
      Group 2: 25, 26, 28 January, 1, 2, 4 February 2021 at 9am (Amsterdam time!)
      Group 3: 3, 4, 5 February at 11 am and 4 pm 2021 (Amsterdam time!.If you choose this group, you can follow the entire course in 3 days)

    Note the times indicated for the working groups are the local Amsterdam times. Amsterdam is located in the Central European Time time zone, also known as Central European Time (MET, GMT +1).

    If you register for the course, you can indicate which variant has your 1st and 2nd preference. You can also indicate if you want to exclude a variant. We will organize the working groups according to your preferences. In principle it is not possible to change groups because the groups will consist of a maximum of 9 people.

    During the working groups you can also ask questions about the lectures.

    All course material is published on Canvas. You will receive a login for Canvas no later than January 18, 2021

  • Faculty
    Prof. Henrica C.W. de Vet, PhD, course coordinator
    Professor of Clinimetrics
    Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and the APH Institute both at Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc

    Professor Riekie de Vet is first author of the textbook Measurement in Medicine, and published a large number of educational papers on clinimetrics. She has been teaching clinimetrics in post graduate courses for 15 years.Her research focuses on the methodology of measurements, with applications in the field of musculoskeletal disorders and end of life care. She has (co-)authored more than 280 peer-reviewed publications and has been the (co-)supervisor of 20 completed PhD-trajectories.

    Caroline B. Terwee, PhD
    Assistant professor of Clinimetrics
    Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc

    Dr. Caroline Terwee is coordinator of the knowledge center measurement instruments of the VU University Medical Center. Her expertise is on the development and evaluation of measurement instrument and related methodological issues, with a special interest in systematic reviews of measurement instruments. She (co)-authored more than 70 international peer reviewed papers on measurement issues and is co-author of the book “Measurement in Medicine”.

    Wieneke B. Mokkink, PhD
    Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics. Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc

    Dr. Wieneke Mokkink is a post doc researcher with expertise on the evaluation of measurement instrument. She wrote her thesis on the COSMIN study (a methodological study on quality assessment of clinimetric studies), and co-authored the book “Measurement in Medicine”. She is internship coordinator of EpidM students.


  • Learning objectives

    After attending the course, students will be familiar with the most important characteristics of research instruments and how to assess them appropriately. They will also be able to choose the measurement instrument that is most appropriate to their own research and, if necessary, to develop a new one.

    1. The student can describe the required steps for the evaluation of measurement instruments:

    a. The student can define a construct of interest and place this in a conceptual model
    b. The student can explain the difference between reflective and formative measurement models
    c. The student can describe the basic principles of qualitative research methods that are being used in instrument development
    d. The student can describe the aim and methods of pilot-testing and field-testing.

    2. The student can describe the terminology and definitions of all measurement properties and how they are related (COSMIN taxonomy).

    3. The student can reflect on the most important design requirements for studies on measurement properties.

    4. The student can describe the most appropriate statistical methods for evaluating measurement properties and criteria for good measurement properties.

    5. The student is able to calculate the following statistical parameters: Intraclass Correlation Coefficients, Standard Error of Measurement, Smallest Detectable Change, Kappa, percentage agreement, Cronbach’s alpha, and Minimal Important Change.

    6. The student is able to interpret change scores using the principles of Minimal Important Change and Smallest Detectable Change.

    7. The student can explain the basic principles of Confirmatory Factor Analyses and why it is preferred over Exploratory Factor Analysis; can describe situations in which to apply Exploratory and Confirmatory Factor analysis and is able to interpret fit statistics for Confirmatory Factor Analysis.The student can explain the basic principles of Item Response Theory and its assumptions; can explain what is meant by differential item functioning, and can mention methods to assess differential item functioning.

  • Target group and course requirements

    Target group

    The course is designed for healthcare practitioners and researchers who are active in medical, allied health, psychological, or behavioural research and who deal with the development, evaluation, and interpretation of health measurements.

    Course requirements

    Attendants are expected to have at least basic knowledge of epidemiological and statistical methods.
    In one of the workshops it is useful if you bring a laptop.

  • Course material and literature

    Course material

    On the first course day, students receive a reader with the hand-outs of all lectures presentations, the workgroup assignments and the computer exercises.

    You can find all the feedback of the assignments and computer exercises, any additional literature, any additional teaching material and information about the exam on Canvas, our digital learning environment.

    A week before the start of the course you will receive information about creating a Canvas account for this course.


    Henrica C. W. de Vet, Caroline B. Terwee, Lidwine B. Mokkink, Dirk L. Knol, Measurement in Medicine. 2011. Cambridge University Press. ISBN:9780521133852

  • Accomodation

    This year the course will be online.

  • Exam and accreditation


    A declaration of participation is issued if the course has been followed entirety. In special cases, the course coordinator can, after prior consultation and for a valid reason, decide to issue a certificate in case of a small absence (max. 20%).

    Participants who take this course as part of the Master Epidemiology always complete the course with an exam. Other participants can choose if they want to complete the course with an exam. The costs in this case are 150, - per examination or re-examination.
    The exam will be in English. Only when you pass the exam you get a certificate showing the credits (study points/EC).
    The examination dates can be found on the website of EpidM.

    Anyone who wants to participate in the examination should apply at least four weeks before the exam to register via the website: tentamens

    The examination material of reference and questions to practice can be found on the Canvas page of the course (see above).
    During the examinations of EpidM the use of e-books is forbidden.

    Accreditation points

    Only for Dutch students!
    If you wish to be considered for accreditation points connected to this course, you must sign the attendance list on the last day of the course.

    To qualify for the accreditation points, you must have been present throughout the course.

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