Reverse Coding in Ocean eForms

Occasionally, when developing scales using Likert-type questions, you will find yourself needing to reverse code some of the items.

For example, an item such as "I don't like working with computers" scored from 1-5 (where 1 is "strongly disagree" and 5 is "strongly agree"), should be re-coded so that the negative answer is associated with the lower score. Re-coding is especially important if the item is being used in a formula to compute a scale score.

In Ocean, your reverse coding formula would be as follows:

New score = (max + min) - response

For example:

You have provided your patient with a 3-question survey scored on a 5 point-scale. Questions 1 and 2 are reverse coded. You would like to calculate a mean score for the survey.

Survey responses:
  • q1. 5
  • q2. 4
  • q3. 1
Ocean formula:
((6 - q1.p) + (6 - q2.p) + (q3.p)) / 3
Copy Formula

Mean score: ( ( 6 - 5 ) + ( 6 - 4 ) + 1 ) / 3 = 1.33

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