Development on an Occupational Performance Questionnaire for Pre-School children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder

Kerry Wallace, Denise Franzsen, Joanne Potterton





Aim: To describe the development and validation of a low cost parent report measure, the Occupational Performance Questionnaire (OPQ) used to assess the occupational performance areas of personal management, play, and social skills in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as well as the impact, of the child’s inability to perform skills in these occupational performance areas, on their families.


Methodology: Preliminary psychometric evaluation was performed on the OPQ. Reliability, content and construct validity as well as convergent validity were determined. The OPQ was field tested with 19 preschoolers with ASD receiving weekly occupational therapy over a one year period.


Results: Psychometric analysis confirmed content and construct validity and test-retest reliability, internal consistency in areas of OPQ:Occupational Performance Areas- personal management (sleeping, feeding, toilet training), play, communication, social interaction and OPQ:Family Impact. The subscales were all sensitive to changes in performance. While the Play and Interaction subscale had moderate convergence with the Short Sensory Profile (SSP) the association with the Personal Management and Communication subscale was weak. The OPQ:Family Impact had moderate convergent validity with the Parent Stress Index (PSI-SF).

Conclusions: The OPQ is a low cost, valid and reliable outcome measure for evaluating the efficacy of change in occupational performance skills in preschool children with ASD in South Africa


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ISSN 0038-2337 (print), ISSN 2310-3833 (online)

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