Reliability and the measurement of activity limitations (ADLs) for children with special health care needs (CSHCN) living in the community Academic Article uri icon


  • PURPOSE: Meeting the personal care challenges of children with special health care needs (CSHCN) living in the community demands a reliable assessment of their abilities to perform activities of daily living (ADLs). This research investigates factors affecting the inter-rater reliability of functional assessments of CSHCN conducted in the home. METHODS: Dual-standardised assessments were conducted with 236 community-dwelling CSHCN seeking or receiving Medicaid Personal Care Services (PCS) in a single state in USA. RESULTS: Analyses revealed that assessments of CSHCN with the greatest or least amount of activity limitations exhibited the greatest agreement. The greatest disagreement occurred when assessors faced children with moderate to moderately severe activity limitations. Specific ADLs, where the greatest and least agreements occurred, varied by the level of the child's overall activity limitation. CONCLUSIONS: These results imply that the most serious challenges to the reliability of home-based assessment of ADLs among CSHCN occur in cases of children with moderate or moderately severe activity limitations.

altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Phillips, C. D., Patnaik, A., Dyer, J. A., Naiser, E., Hawes, C., Fournier, C. J., & Elliott, T. R.

citation count

  • 10

publication date

  • January 2011