Research Article
Issue Date: March 06, 2020
Published Online: February 10, 2020
Updated: March 09, 2020
Interrater Reliability and Concurrent Validity of the Neonatal Eating Outcome Assessment
Author Affiliations
  • Roberta Pineda, PhD, OTR/L, is Assistant Professor, Program in Occupational Therapy and Department of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO; pineda_r@kids.wustl.edu
  • Lara Liszka, OTD/S, is Doctor of Occupational Therapy Student, Program in Occupational Therapy, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO.
  • Jenny Kwon, OTD/S, is Doctor of Occupational Therapy Student, Program in Occupational Therapy, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO.
  • Michael Wallendorf, PhD, is Research Statistician, Division of Biostatics, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO.
Article Information
Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Research Articles
Research Article   |   March 06, 2020
Interrater Reliability and Concurrent Validity of the Neonatal Eating Outcome Assessment
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March 2020, Vol. 74, 7402205050. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2020.039578
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March 2020, Vol. 74, 7402205050. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2020.039578
Abstract

Importance: Few neonatal feeding assessments are currently available, and the Neonatal Eating Outcome Assessment is the only one that identifies feeding impairment while considering the developmental changes that occur from preterm birth to term-equivalent age.

Objective: To determine the interrater reliability and concurrent validity of the Neonatal Eating Outcome Assessment.

Design: Prospective, observational study.

Setting: Level 4 neonatal intensive care unit.

Participants: A convenience sample of 7 neonatal therapists participated in reliability testing. For concurrent validity, a prospective cohort of 52 preterm infants born ≤32 wk gestation had feeding assessed at term-equivalent age.

Outcomes and Measures: Intraclass correlations (ICCs) and Fleiss’s κ statistics were used to define reliability across therapists, who independently scored five videos of preterm infants orally feeding using the Neonatal Eating Outcome Assessment. Concurrent validity was determined by evaluating relationships between the Neonatal Oral Motor Assessment Scale (NOMAS) and the Neonatal Eating Outcome Assessment using an independent-samples t test and χ2 analysis.

Results: The ICC for the Neonatal Eating Outcome Assessment total score was 0.90 (confidence interval [CI] [0.70, 0.99]). Fleiss’s κ scores for the 19 scorable items on the Neonatal Eating Outcome Assessment had predominately moderate, fair, and slight agreement, with 3 items having poor agreement. Dysfunctional NOMAS scores were related to lower Neonatal Eating Outcome Assessment scores (t[49.4] = 3.72, mean difference = 12.2, 95% CI [5.60, 18.75], p = .001).

Conclusions and Relevance: The Neonatal Eating Outcome Assessment has excellent reliability. Concurrent validity was established.

What This Article Adds: This article reports that the final version of the Neonatal Eating Outcome Assessment (Version 5.7) has excellent interrater and concurrent validity and is an important tool to assess the occupation of infant feeding in clinical practice.