The reliability of the sensory environment and participation questionnaire - teacher version
The purpose of this study was to explore the initial psychometric properties of the Sensory Environment and Participation Questionnaire – Teacher Version. The assessment is a teacher-report questionnaire focused on exploring the impact of the sensory environment of the preschool on participation of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The assessment provides a valuable tool to examine participation and the environment within one instrument. The study used 103 preschool teachers who completed an online version of the Sensory Environment and Participation Questionnaire – Teacher Version. Twenty participants also completed the assessment a second time to gather information for test-retest reliability. Classical test theory was used to establish the unidimensionality of the instrument. An exploratory factor analysis revealed six factors that accounted for 65 percent of the variance. Internal consistency for the instrument is 0.98, indicating excellent reliability. Seven items had poor factor loading and six of these items were removed from the final version of the assessment. Test-retest reliability was 0.68 for the original instrument and 0.70 for the final version of the instrument with items removed. Ease of use was also explored using quantitative measures for length of time and qualitative content analysis to analyze narrative feedback. Length of time for assessment completion averaged from 10-20 minutes. Feedback encompassed three main themes additional response options, additional concepts to assess, and definition of terms. Feedback was used in conjunction with item and factor analysis to generate a final version of the instrument. Overall, the Sensory Environment and Participation Questionnaire – Teacher Version is a reliable instrument with established construct and content validity. Future testing of the final version will provide additional information to generate a complete instrument that can be used to assess the sensory environment and participation within the preschool setting with other populations. The instrument has the potential to identify barriers to participation, thus allowing the occupational therapist the opportunity to use the Person-Environment-Occupation therapy to modify aspects of the environment to increase participation.