Talia Budlovsky & Rhiannon Evans

Estimating Reliability of the Power Mobility Program with School-Aged Children

Authors: Talia Budlovsky, Rhiannon Evans, Dr. Debra Fields, & Dr. William Miller

Introduction. Power mobility facilitates developmental growth by providing children with mobility limitations opportunity for independence and participation in meaningful activities. The Power Mobility Program (PMP) developed by Furumasu and colleagues, evaluates children’s power mobility driving skills and guides therapists’ goal-setting when considering power mobility. Although the PMP has been used in several research studies, there is limited reliability evidence of its use with school-aged children. Objectives. To estimate inter- and intra-rater reliability (reliability, hereafter) of the PMP from video recordings of children aged 5-17 years who use power mobility along with 95% confidence intervals for reliability coefficients. We hypothesize that the intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) will be >0.75. Methods. This methodological study will recruit a convenience sample of seven participants who are English-speaking, and either registered occupational therapists or (final year) occupational therapy students residing in British Columbia. Participants’ will score the PMP, while viewing video recordings of ten children performing power mobility driving skills, on two occasions, three weeks apart. Quantitative data will be analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. ICCs ≥ .75 will be interpreted as excellent, > .40 as good to moderate, and < .40 as poor reliability. Practice Implications. Acceptable reliability evidence can improve confidence when interpreting PMP scores as therapists’ evaluate children’s power mobility skills. This will promote use of the PMP in research and evidence-based practice. Conclusions. The scores obtained from occupational therapists and occupational therapy students were analyzed and found to have an inter-rater ICC of 0.702 suggesting “good to moderate” reliability. There was considerable variability in the intra-rater reliability score, ranging from 0.373 to 0.961, suggesting poor intrarater reliability. Qualitative feedback obtained from participants was consistent with this finding; participants emphasized the difficulty in scoring discrete ability of skills using the Mobility Rating Scale due to its focus on determining amount of verbal cueing and hands-on assistance provided by the instructor rather than the performance of the child.