Using Cognitive Interviewing for Test Items to Assess Physical Function in Children with Cerebral Palsy

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Abstract

Purpose:

The purpose of this study was to assess the content, format, and comprehension of test items and responses developed for use in a computer adaptive test (CAT) of physical function for children with cerebral palsy (CP).

Methods:

After training in cognitive interviewing techniques, investigators defined item intent and developed questions for each item. Parents of children with CP (n = 27) participated in interviews probing item meaning, item wording, and response choice adequacy and appropriateness.

Results:

Qualitative analysis identified 3 themes: item clarity; relevance, context, and attribution; and problems with wording or tone. Parents reported the importance of delineating task components, assistance amount, and environmental context.

Conclusion:

Cognitive interviewing provided valuable information about the validity of new items and insight to improve relevance and context. We believe that the development of CATs in pediatric rehabilitation may ultimately reduce the impact of the issues identified.

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