Publication: Intra-Rater Test-Retest Reliability of a Modified Child Functioning Module, Self-Report Version

Research Impact: Under article 31 of the UN Conventions of the rights of persons with disabilities, data must be aggregated by disability, especially for monitoring purposes as well as each state should ensure dissemination of data includes people with disabilities. The Washington group ( worked on a set of questions that can be used to measure functional difficulties, and in combination with UNICEF, the Child Functioning Module (CFM) was made for children between 2-17y old. The measures for children were designed to be answered through a parent or other adult carer, and this approach is limited in so far that parents do not necessarily know what is on the mind of the child when other survey based questions are being asked about children with disabilities. Therefore, in this study, the CFM was modified and tested as a self-report measure. To ensure that the research items are represented well, items should have acceptable levels of reliability. As such, the main purpose of this paper was to test the intra-rater reliability of the self-report version of the CFM. The survey was administered to children with special educational needs in a pilot study with a 2 week gap between collection dates in Finland. The reliability of the 11 items of the CFM  was mixed, in other words, depending on how it is used, some of the items need to be interpreted with caution. In particular, the construct of ‘self-care’ is very broad, and from the perspective of a child to report their level of difficulties in this may be difficult due to the vast number of functions related to this. Another function that use of results with caution is needed is one that could be related to physical activity and sport. The item on ‘concentrating on things you enjoy’. Many studies describe the enjoyment of sport, and it is good to be able to assess difficulties in concentration. Otherwise, eight of the 11 items had substantial agreement between as a scale. Given the study was carried out among students in special education settings, it could be possible that the reliability of the items would be greater if administered among adolescents in general education. Therefore, the use of the CFM is a suitable measure of functions when indicating disabilities.

Ng, K.; Asunta, P.; Leppä, N.; Rintala, P. Intra-Rater Test-Retest Reliability of a Modified Child Functioning Module, Self-Report Version. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 202017, 6958.

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