Development of a Valid Outcome Measure for Sensory Testing in Children with Cerebral Palsy: An Exploratory Sequential Research Design
Dr. Shikha Singh,
Subharti University Faculty Residence, Flat no-79, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, India.
Introduction: In Cerebral Palsy (CP), sensory perception is affected in addition to the motor symptoms. Now-a-days, treatment solely focuses on diagnosed motor deficiencies, often overlooking underlying sensory abnormalities and their examination. Therefore, including a clinical sensory examination in the evaluation of children with CP is crucial.
Aim: To develop a validated measure for assessing sensory processing among children with CP.
Materials and Methods: This study, conducted as part of a Ph.D. research project, employed an exploratory sequential research design. It commenced on March 1, 2020, and concluded on October 18, 2021, at the Physiotherapy Out Patient Department (OPD) of Swami Vivekanand Subharti University in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, India. Validity tests, including Scale Level Content Validity Index (CVI) and Spearman rank correlation methods, were used alongside other subtests. The study consisted of two phases: Development and Validation. An extensive literature search and parent interviews were conducted to comprehensively understand and collect information on sensory issues. Based on this information, a preliminary questionnaire draft was created. Three categories of validity-content, face, and concurrent-were tested. Content validation involved employing a three-round online Delphi approach. Face validity was assessed through opinions from clinicians regarding the questionnaire’s appearance. Concurrent validity was established by comparing the Sensory Outcome Measure (SOM) with the criterion measure scale, Short Sensory Profile (SSP).
Results: For all items, Content Validity Ratio (CVR) and item-level CVI values ranged from 0.8 to 1. The overall Scale Level CVI (average) for the scale was 0.890625. Experts exhibited a 96% agreement regarding the appearance of the questionnaire, indicating complete agreement. The Spearman rank correlation coefficient value was 0.866, and the correlation graph indicated a positive association between the two scales in terms of concurrent validity.
Conclusion: The Sensory Outcome Measure (SOM) has been developed as a valid scale with high content and face validity, along with excellent concurrent validity. SOM is the first measuring scale developed in India and used for assessing sensory deficits in children with CP.