Commentary on “Concurrent Validity Between Live and Home Video Observations Using the Alberta Infant Motor Scale”
We embrace evidence-based technology in our practices to improve outcomes. Our challenge is whether this technology can be adopted across populations and is transferable to different settings. On the basis of most current service models, an evaluation performed from a home recording would not be reimbursed. However, there is merit to this form of assessment. Staff shortages, meeting the needs of patients in a timely manner, serving rural areas, and families with infants too medically compromised to travel could benefit from a recorded assessment. The pediatric physical therapist would have the opportunity to observe the infant in the natural environment. A recording offers a permanent visual record of an infant's motor progression.
Parent Response: The parent of an infant undergoing an evaluation needs a great deal of support and reassurance. I would like to be able to be with a therapist, physician, or whomever I am consulting with, to read the evaluators body language, ask as many questions as necessary, and have the full attention of the person evaluating my infant.
“What should I be mindful about when applying this information?”
It was unclear whether the evaluators were able to stop the video footage and replay. Video offers repeated viewing of an infant's performance in contrast to an on-site evaluation. We need to consider the benefit of having on-site as opposed to video and whether the camera captures the subtle nuances of an infant's motor skills.
The families participating in the study were carefully screened and were educated and with access to a recording device. The instructions for parents may not be appropriate for our various patient populations, with their unique characteristics. Some families might not have the abilities or equipment to carry through the process. It may be difficult for some families to find 30 minutes for recording and a location. Financial resources, parent skill, and comfort level with recording, as well as sibling participation, may impact the home recording.
Parent Response: As a parent, I would not be in favor of a video assessment for my child. I feel that having a video assessment is very impersonal. I equate it to texting someone instead of calling and speaking directly to the person.