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Category based measurements

RISE is Sweden's NMI (National Metrology Institute) and is, according to the Swedish constitution, responsible for the central measurement quantities in the International System of Units, SI.

In collaboration with industry and the rest of the society, RISE develops new ways of measuring both the national reference standards for physical quantities but also for more behavior-related characteristics.

How can we measure experiences, feelings, symptoms and abilities? How do we ensure reliable decision are made based on health and social values and how can these measurements be quality assured? RISE is developing methods for dealing with these kinds of issues.

Typically, for category based measurements individual answers are given as discrete response options such as Do Not Agree At All or Agree Fully, for example in a questionnaire. Often, it is a person who rates his or her own situation by answering questions, but it can also be an external rater of performances Likewise, there may be assessments of how a business or organization performs in relation to indicators. Nowadays category based measurements fulfill an increasingly important function as a basis for decisions, for example in health care, product development or urban planning, at the same time quality assured metrology has not yet been fully implemented for category based measurements.

Large gain can be had if health and social values can be validly and reliably measured.The quality of interventions, planning and governance, business development, procurement and innovations will  be improved if categorically based measurements can be quality assured. This benefits both individuals and organisations.

Creating a reliable bases for decisions is not only about data analysis, but actually begins long before the actual data collection begins. RISE can help when formulating reliable bases for decision throughout the whole process.

  • Needs and planning: As a first step, we can help identify which measurements are suitable for the purposes and requirements of the situation at hand. We can also give advice about how measurement data should be collected. When it comes to estimating experiences, feelings, abilities and symptoms, we can help evaluate existing rating scales and develop new ones in consultation with the client.
  • Collection and analysis of measurement data: Once you have specified what is to be measured and how the measurements will be made, we can assist in collecting data and analyzing it. We have a unique competence in handling category based measurements in a metrologically quality-assured way, and we also have experience of how to best relate category based measurements to other types of measurements.
  • Decision making: Finally, we can assist when it comes to evaluate results and make decisions based on metrologically quality assured analyzes. Examples of what we can help with are how measurement values and their measurement uncertainties should be interpreted in relation to expected requirements.

We at RISE primarily have expertise and conduct research in category-based measurements related to healthcare, care and social care, public health, medical technology, user experiences, urban planning and development and sustainability. However, our expertise and methodology can be applied to additional areas.


Center for category based measurements

Social and Health Impact Center (SHIC)

PM health

More information

Articles and documents

report (in Swedish) Att mäta sociala och hälsomässiga värden

debate article (in Swedish) Jämförelser kräver kvalitetssäkrad mätteknik

Storyboard (pdf, 520.19 KB)

Q&A (pdf, 511.17 KB)

Monika Lydin

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Monika Lydin


+46 10 516 55 06

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