Mette Søndergaard, Anne G. Fisher; Sensitivity of the Evaluation of Social Interaction Measures Among People With and Without Neurologic or Psychiatric Disorders. Am J Occup Ther 2012;66(3):356–362. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2012.003582
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OBJECTIVE. To determine whether the Evaluation of Social Interaction (ESI) is sensitive enough to differentiate between people without identified diagnoses and those with neurologic or psychiatric disorders in terms of their observed quality of social interaction.
METHOD. Participants were age 16–69 and were without identified diagnoses (n = 304) or had neurologic (n = 77) or psychiatric (n = 104) disorders. They were evaluated using the ESI.
RESULTS. Nonparametric Kruskal–Wallis tests and post hoc Mann–Whitney U tests revealed that the group without identified diagnoses had significantly better quality of social interaction than did either group with disabilities (Us = 3,172 and 3,189, respectively; p ≤ .001).
CONCLUSION. The ESI is sensitive with regard to detecting differences in quality of social interaction among groups expected to differ, suggesting that it is valid for use when the desired purpose is to identify people with diminished quality of social interaction.
The ESI measures are valid for identifying people with psychiatric or neurologic disorders who have observable problems with social interaction as they engage in natural, everyday social interactions with typical social partners.
The identification of diminished quality of social interaction during occupational performance among people with psychiatric or neurologic disorders supports the need for occupational therapists to evaluate for problems of social interaction that affect such persons’ full participation in needed and desired occupations.
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