Reliability of 'The Motor Observations with regards to Sensory Integration': A Pilot Study

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The Motor Observations (MO) with regards to Sensory Integration' (Horowitz 1994) is based on the original Clinical Observations of Ayres (1972a). The test alms to identify children aged 5 to 12 years with a learning disorder, described in this study as a developmental coordination disorder (DCD), hypothesised by Ayres to be due to sensory integration dysfunction. This study initiated the measurement of the reliability (internal consistency and intrarater and interrater reliability) of the MO, not included in its Dutch standardisation.

An observational correlational design was employed. The subjects were 28 children aged 6 to 10 years from the Sussex Weald. The MO was administered to a random sample of 21 children without DCD and a convenience sample of 7 children with DCD. Reliability coefficients (Cronbach's alpha and intraclass correlation [ICC] random observers) were obtained via statistical analysis of score sets generated from live testing and its video recording.

The results indicate marginal reliability of the MO. Internal consistency (N=28) at 0.62 fell below the a priori level of 0.70. Intrarater and interrater reliability for the total samples (N=28, n= 15) and the DCD samples (n=7, n=5) was high, ranging from 0.98 to 0.91, above the 0.75 a priori level. However, interrater reliability for the normal sample (n=10) fell below at 0.57, which suggests a deficiency in the test to identify normal development of sensory integration reliably. As the findings are not generalisable due to small samples, further studies are recommended.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 1999

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  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

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    The 2013 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 0.897.

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