Development of a practical outcome measure to account for individual differences in quality-of-life appraisal: the Brief Appraisal Inventory

Bruce D. Rapkin, Iliana Garcia, Wesley Michael, Jie Zhang, Carolyn E. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background: The present study evaluated the distributional and structural characteristics and explanatory power of the 23-item Brief Appraisal Inventory (BAI), a more practical appraisal measure for use in clinical research and practice. Methods: A heterogeneous, online cohort of chronic disease patients and caregivers completed the BAI, along with demographics, comorbidities, PROMIS-10, and the Brief NEO Personality Inventory. Principal components, bivariate, and linear and logistic regression analyses addressed BAI item distributions, structure, and construct validity. Results: The study sample (n = 592) had a mean age of 43.8 (SD = 18.5), and was 79% female. The BAI items exhibited good distributions, and principal component analysis yielded five composite scores: (1) Health Worries; (2) Interpersonal and Independence concerns; (3) Accomplishing Goals and Problem-Solving; (4) Calm, Peaceful, and Active; (5) Spiritual Growth and Altruism. The construct validity of appraisal factors is supported by their zero-order correlations with demographic, health, personality, and health-related QOL measures. Comparisons of appraisal-correlates among comorbidity-burden subgroups shed light on the mediating role that appraisal may play in adapting to chronic illness. Appraisal moderated the influence of comorbidities on emotional but not physical functioning. The performance of the BAI in explaining unique variance in physical and emotional functioning is comparable to results obtained with earlier measures. Conclusions: The BAI provides a practical, short tool for evaluating appraisal in a wide range of assessment situations. Future research might utilize the BAI in longitudinal research aimed at detecting response-shift effects over time, and in clinical settings to improve patient-provider communication about concerns related to health, health care, or QOL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)823-833
Number of pages11
JournalQuality of Life Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018


  • Appraisal
  • Chronic disease
  • Cognitive processes
  • Patient-reported outcomes
  • Quality of life
  • Rare disease
  • Response shift

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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