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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02358

Combining Text Mining of Long Constructed Responses and Item-Based Measures: A Hybrid Test Design to Screen for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

  • 1Educational Testing Service, United States
  • 2University of Twente, Netherlands

This article introduces a new hybrid intake procedure developed for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) screening, which combines an automated textual assessment of respondents’ self-narratives and item-based measures that are administered consequently. Text mining technique and item response modeling were used to analyze long constructed response (i.e., self-narratives) and responses to standardized questionnaires (i.e., multiple choices), respectively. The whole procedure is combined in a Bayesian framework where the textual assessment functions as prior information for the estimation of the PTSD latent trait. The purpose of this study is twofold: first, to investigate whether the combination model of textual analysis and item-based scaling could enhance the classification accuracy of PTSD, and second, to examine whether the standard error of estimates could be reduced through the use of the narrative as a sort of routing test. With the sample at hand, the combination model resulted in a reduction in the misclassification rate, as well as a decrease of standard error of latent trait estimation. These findings highlight the benefits of combining textual assessment and item-based measures in a psychiatric screening process. We conclude that the hybrid test design is a promising approach to increase test efficiency and is expected to be applicable in a broader scope of educational and psychological measurement in the future.

Keywords: text mining, item response theory, Bayesian framework, Posttraumatic disorder, Self-narratives

Received: 20 Dec 2018; Accepted: 03 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 He, Veldkamp, Glas and Van Den Berg. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Qiwei He, Educational Testing Service, Princeton, United States,