Evidence Based Practice: How Are You Measuring Outcomes; PART 4


SPEAKER BLOG SERIES:

Suzanne Davis

Suzanne Davis

Following a period of intervention children can be assessed using the GAS scaling and be given a numeric score.  This can be used not only on an individual basis but also on a larger scale to assess programs and to conduct research. 

According to McDougall & King, 2007, the scale should meet the following criteria:

  • Have clinically equal intervals between all scale levels
  • The amount of change between levels should be clinically relevant
  • Change should be measured using just one variable keeping other variables constant
  • Identify a timeframe for the achievement of the goal

Here is an example:

SMART GOAL: Child will transfer from sitting in his wheelchair to standing at his desk by pushing through both hands on the armrests, having his feet hip width apart while bringing his COM forward over his BOS and sustain standing for 10 seconds in anticipation of his walker being placed behind him, 3 out of 5 trials, by (date).

GAS SCALE:  The bolded words indicate the variable being measured and the amount of change.

-2

sustain standing for less than 5 seconds

-1

sustain standing for 5 – 9 seconds

0

expected

outcome

Child will transfer from sitting in his wheelchair to standing at his desk by pushing through both hands on the armrests, having his feet hip width apart while bringing his COM forward over his BOS and sustain standing for 10-14 seconds in anticipation of his walker being placed behind him, 3 out of 5 trials.

+1

sustain standing for 15-19 seconds

+2

sustain standing for at least 20 seconds

 

Other examples of measurable variables besides time as in the above chart, could include, but are not limited to, variables such as distance, level of assistance, number of repetitions, and percentage of accuracy.  It is also possible to use developmental levels that are approximately equal in intervals.

GAS scaling provides therapists with a useful tool for documenting measurable, observable, functional change.  It is simple and inexpensive, and can be used to show change in an individual child as well as show change for the purpose of research.  This methodology shows promise for therapists by capturing meaningful outcomes for the children they treat thus leading therapists to best practice.  

We are thrilled to announce a new course coming in early 2015 taught by Suzanne Davis with new faculty member Kate Bain:

“Making and Showing Measurable Change in Neuro-Pediatrics”

Suzanne’s other course:
Contemporary NDT Treatment of the Baby and Young Child

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