Measure Meaningful Outcomes

Select outcome tools that are sensitive to measuring areas likely to change, such as function, participation, satisfaction, or learning of strategies.

  • Evaluating change following intervention is important to measure the success of intervention.
  • Your tool should be “reliable” (similar results are found regardless of the evaluator or occasion), "validated" (measures what it is intended to measure) and "sensitive" (able to detect change, if it occurs).
  • The changes you detect must be clinically relevant, reflecting an important change in a real-life goal.
  • Ensure you have a good match between the change your tool evaluates and the intervention (e.g. participation and environment measures for participation-based interventions).
Tools for Evaluating Outcomes
  • The Movement ABC is a valuable tool for detecting the presence of DCD, but its use as a measure of change following intervention may be limited, particularly if your intervention goals target activity and participation.
  • The PEGS is a goal-setting tool that is also useful to evaluate intervention outcomes in young children. A visual analogue scale of 1 to 10 can also be used to rate children's performance on a specific task (see video below).
  • The GAS and the COPM are also useful for measuring change.
  • Recently, the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale–2nd edition (VABS-2) has been suggested for measuring activities and participation, as well as for planning interventions. However, its sensitivity to change in children with DCD has not yet been documented.
  • The Life Habits may also be useful for describing the participation of children with DCD, but like the VABS its sensitivity to change for children with DCD has not been documented.
Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale–2nd edition (VABS-2)

Sparrow, S., Cicchetti, D.B., & Balla, D.A. (2005). Vineland adaptive behavior scales second edition. Circle Pines, MN: AGS Publishing

Recently, the VABS-2 has been suggested as a tool to asses participation for children with DCD*.

More information about the VABS-2 can be found on the Pearson's website

*: Vasiliki, Snider, Majnemer & Mazer (2012). Assessments Used to Diagnose Developmental Coordination Disorder: Do Their Underlying Constructs Match the Diagnostic Criteria? Physical & Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics, Early Online.

Life habits

The Life Habits (LIFE-H) measurement tool is available in three versions:

  • LIFE-H - For children from birth to 4 years of age
  • LIFE-H - For children from 5 to 13 years of age
  • LIFE-H - For teenagers, adults, and seniors

More information about the LIFE-H measurement tool can be found on The International Network on the Disability Creation Process (INDCP) website

This video illustrates the use of a visual analogue scale and the involvement of the child in setting a goal.

Question for Reflection
Would the MABC be a useful tool for measuring change in activity and participation levels? Why or why not?
Click here for some thoughts on this question
Would the MABC be a useful tool for measuring change in activity and participation levels? Why or why not?

The MABC is intended to evaluate the impact of motor coordination difficulties on targeted tasks and measures the severity of the motor difficulties. If your intervention goal is to improve participation, the MABC is not likely to be sensitive to the changes you want to measure as it was not developed for this purpose. Strictly speaking, the MABC measures impairment, which is not expected to change over time. Although some children have been shown to improve at the tasks evaluated by the MABC, but it is unclear if the changes measured by the tool can be translated into meaningful changes in daily function or real-life activities.

So what about Max?
Assessing Max’s current ability at his goal activity, skipping, will provide you with a baseline to evaluate his progress and demonstrate to Max and others the improvements he makes following your interventions and his practice. Videos are also powerful tools to illustrate the differences!