Research Article  |   September 2013
Computer Adaptive Test Approach to the Assessment of Children and Youth With Brachial Plexus Birth Palsy
Author Affiliations
  • M. J. Mulcahey, PhD, OTR/L, is Professor of Occupational Therapy, Thomas Jefferson University, School of Health Professions, 901 Walnut Street, 6th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107, and Scientific Staff, Shriners Hospitals for Children, Philadelphia; Maryjane.mulcahey@jefferson.edu
  • Lisa Merenda, MSN, is Research Nurse, Shriners Hospitals for Children, Philadelphia
  • Feng Tian, PhD, is Associate Professor, Health and Disability Research Institute, School of Public Health, Boston University, Boston
  • Scott Kozin, MD, is Chief of Staff, Shriners Hospitals for Children, Philadelphia
  • Michelle James, MD, is Chief of Orthopedics, Shriners Hospitals for Children Northern California, Sacramento
  • Gloria Gogola, MD, is Medical Staff, Shriners Hospitals for Children, Houston
  • Pengsheng Ni, MD, PhD, is Associate Professor, Health and Disability Research Institute, School of Public Health, Boston University, Boston
Article Information
Assessment Development and Testing / Hand and Upper Extremity / Neurologic Conditions / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Children and Youth
Research Article   |   September 2013
Computer Adaptive Test Approach to the Assessment of Children and Youth With Brachial Plexus Birth Palsy
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September/October 2013, Vol. 67, 524-533. doi:10.5014/ajot.2013.008037
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September/October 2013, Vol. 67, 524-533. doi:10.5014/ajot.2013.008037
Abstract

This study examined the psychometric properties of item pools relevant to upper-extremity function and activity performance and evaluated simulated 5-, 10-, and 15-item computer adaptive tests (CATs). In a multicenter, cross-sectional study of 200 children and youth with brachial plexus birth palsy (BPBP), parents responded to upper-extremity (n = 52) and activity (n = 34) items using a 5-point response scale. We used confirmatory and exploratory factor analysis, ordinal logistic regression, item maps, and standard errors to evaluate the psychometric properties of the item banks. Validity was evaluated using analysis of variance and Pearson correlation coefficients. Results show that the two item pools have acceptable model fit, scaled well for children and youth with BPBP, and had good validity, content range, and precision. Simulated CATs performed comparably to the full item banks, suggesting that a reduced number of items provide similar information to the entire set of items.