Importance: Vestibular and proprioceptive functions play a critical role in occupational performance and participation. Assessment of these functions in a reliable and valid manner is part of a comprehensive assessment in the Ayres Sensory Integration® frame of reference, commonly applied in pediatric occupational therapy.
Objective: To report on reliability and validity of six tests of vestibular and proprioceptive functions of the Evaluation in Ayres Sensory Integration (EASI).
Design: We used Rasch analyses to examine and modify the number of items and scoring categories on the six tests and known-groups analysis to examine group differences. We evaluated internal consistency using Cronbach’s α and Rasch person reliability.
Participants: The sample contained typically developing children (n = 150) and children with sensory integration concerns (n = 84); all participated voluntarily.
Outcomes and Measures: The EASI is used to measure sensory and motor functions in children ages 3 to 12 yr. The six tests of vestibular and proprioceptive functions were analyzed in this study.
Results: Data from >96% of items conformed to the expectations of the model. We found statistically significant group differences (ps < .001–.128; ds = 0.20–1.31), with the typically developing children group scoring significantly higher on all but one test, and moderate to strong evidence of internal consistency (Rasch person-reliability indices ≥ 0.80; strata > 3) for five of six tests.
Conclusions and Relevance: The EASI vestibular and proprioceptive tests have strong construct validity and internal reliability, indicating that they are psychometrically sound clinical measures.
What This Article Adds: The development of occupational therapy assessments with strong psychometric properties, such as the EASI tests of vestibular and proprioceptive functions, enhances clinical practice and research by elucidating the factors affecting participation in accurate and dependable ways so that occupational therapy interventions can be focused and effective.