This study used the Rasch model to evaluate the psychometric properties of the Portuguese version of the Substance Problem Scale (SPS) of the “Global Appraisal of Individual Needs - Initial” for use in Brazil. The SPS measures alcohol and drug problem severity within a DSM-IV-TR framework. The goal of the Rasch analysis was to assess scale dimensionality, item severity, and differential item functioning (DIF).
Data was collected from 40 inpatients and 70 outpatients in São Paulo, Brazil. The Rasch model fit and DIF by gender and level of care were examined.
The SPS fit the Rasch model, with no items distorting the measure. Only three of the sixteen items performed differently between men and women and three performed differently by level of care.
The results were compatible with those from Rasch analyses of the American English and Canadian English versions of the scale. The Portuguese version of the SPS is, thus, valid for use in Brazil, both with men and women in inpatient and outpatient programs.