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ERIC Number: EJ915098
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 21
ISSN: ISSN-2154-1647
Determining Alertness in Individuals with Profound Intellectual and Multiple Disabilities: The Reliability of an Observation List
Munde, Vera; Vlaskamp, Carla; Ruijssenaars, Wied; Nakken, Han
Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, v46 n1 p116-123 Mar 2011
In the support of individuals with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities (PIMD), assessing the level of alertness is a recurring issue for parents and other direct support persons. Although observations show clear advantages above and beyond other assessment methods, there are problems related to this method as well. Subjectivity of interpretation and low reliability results have been described as the main problems. In the present study, our aim was to estimate the reliability of the Alertness Observation List (AOL) while, at the same time, minimizing the problems entailed in observations. We calculated both the inter-observer agreement and intra-observer agreement for 39 situations. Since the results exceeded the formulated 80%-criterion, we concluded that the AOL was a reliable instrument. However, the large range found in the results was striking. Moreover, observers with different information about the observed individuals came up with different reliability scores. To determine the value of observation of individuals with PIMD, it might well be necessary to judge the actual usefulness that the instrument has in clinical practice, besides the reliability of the results. (Contains 3 tables.)
Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities, Council for Exceptional Children. DDD, P.O. Box 3512, Fayetteville, AR 72702. Tel: 479-575-3326; Fax: 479-575-6676; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Netherlands