Preliminary measurement properties of the early childhood occupational profile (ecope)
PURPOSE: This dissertation established the preliminary psychometric properties of the Early Childhood Occupational Profile (ECOPE) and investigated the perspectives of occupational therapists on the clinical utility of the tool. METHODS: An embedded mixed methods research design was utilized to support the use of different research questions and unique sets of data. National and international occupational therapists administered the ECOPE on video case studies and on children from their caseload. These data were analyzed using the Rasch goodness of fit statistics to evaluate the validity and reliability of the ECOPE. Participating occupational therapists also completed an anonymous survey to gather information on the clinical utility of the tool. RESULTS: Rasch analysis goodness of fit statistics indicated the ECOPE strongly measures the construct of occupational participation and reliably detects differences in young children’s occupational participation skills. The MnSq values for the ECOPE indicated strong construct validity and person and item fit reliability with scores of 0.93 for person label variables and 0.91 for item responses. The ECOPE item separation statistic of 3.11 and reliability of 0.91 indicated the item structure will accurately measure occupational participation in a new sample. The ECOPE person separation statistic of 3.68 and reliability of 0.93 indicated a high level of stability across new samples. Qualitative data from occupational therapists indicated the ECOPE has strong clinical utility and a positive impact on treatment planning. Participants either strongly agree or agree that the ECOPE is a useful tool with appropriate time requirements for administration and interpretation. Similarly, occupational therapists indicated the tool is useful for understanding the young child’s occupational participation skills and is easy to use in clinical practice. CONCLUSIONS: This dissertation study established the preliminary reliability, validity, and clinical utility of the Early Childhood Occupational Profile (ECOPE). The ECOPE is an occupation-based assessment which reflects the distinct value of occupational therapy while evaluating the young child’s occupational participation skills within the natural contexts of home or community. The ECOPE addressed the need for development and use of occupation-based assessments in pediatric practice as reported in the literature.