Aaron M. Eakman; Measurement Characteristics of the Engagement in Meaningful Activities Survey in an Age-Diverse Sample. Am J Occup Ther 2012;66(2):e20–e29. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2012.001867
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© 2021 American Occupational Therapy Association
OBJECTIVE. This study evaluated the measurement characteristics of the Engagement in Meaningful Activities Survey (EMAS) in an age-diverse sample.
METHOD. The sample included 154 older adults and 122 college students (age range = 18–100 yr). A Rasch–Andrich rating scale model was used to evaluate the EMAS. Analyses addressed rating scale design, person and item fit, item hierarchy, model unidimensionality, and differential item functioning.
RESULTS. Category functioning was improved by reducing the EMAS item responses to four categories. Adequate person response validity was established, and all but one EMAS item demonstrated an ideal fit to the Rasch measurement model. After establishing the item hierarchy, I found the EMAS to be a unidimensional measure. Differential item functioning was not detected using Bonferroni-adjusted statistical criteria.
CONCLUSION. The results confirm the potential to validly measure subjective qualities of meaningful activity participation. The EMAS can be used to evaluate processes and outcomes central to occupational therapy practice and to aid in the design of therapeutic occupations.
The EMAS requires only a few minutes to administer and score and can be used to monitor client perceptions of change in meaningful activity. It can also be used to facilitate a clinical interview on meaningful activity.
The EMAS items may offer occupational therapists examples for grading aspects of meaning in therapy.
Practitioners should apply the findings of this study with caution because of the potential for cultural variations in definitions of occupation and meaning associated with activity participation.
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