how to build a central measure


TS Contributor

I need some advice, I got a series of question that my "cases" was asked to answer. these questions are YES/NO questions, coded 1/0. all the questions concern one's health ( was ill last year ? takes medications ?.... ). I want to build some health measure. how do I do that ?

usually I am used to have a series of ordinal variables, and then I use average to build a measure that reflects the person's opinion about X. but what do I do when I have for example 8 YES/NO questions, all dealing with the same big issue. I want to check for relationship between one's health ( which is being checked in the YES/NO questions ), and so other factor ( which is a single YES/NO question).

help please :eek:


Super Moderator
Hey WeeG,

how about converting the yes/no answers in each group into proportions (%) data. You could then create "average" proportions and use confidence intervals to estimate population parameters....



TS Contributor
just so I'll know I understand you...

if for example, for every case, I have 4 questions of YES/NO, then the data looks like this:

1 1 0 1 0
2 0 1 1 1
3 1 1 0 0
4 0 0 0 1
5 1 1 1 1

then you suggest to build the measure like this:

1 2/4
2 3/4
3 2/4
4 1/4
5 4/4

that will lead me to a number between 0 to 1, a real number. is it actually OK to use confidence intervals on it and to include it in statistical tests ?

cheers !


Super Moderator
yes, thats it.

Im not sure about performing stats on the small sample sizes, but you try try estimating CI through permutation.


TS Contributor
the sample size ain't small, I just gave an example of 5 people, but actually I got many more, over 100

there is no limit of how many questions should be counted, minimal, right ?
do I have to check reliability somehow ? like I do with ordinal scale using cronbach's alpha ?


Super Moderator

sorry Im not familar with cronbach's alpha (commonly used in Psychology?).

Someone might want to jump in here...