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Therapy outcome measures for allied health practitioners in Australia: The AusTOMs
journal contributionposted on 28.05.2019, 00:00 by A Perry, M Morris, Carolyn UnsworthCarolyn Unsworth, S Duckett, J Skeat, K Dodd, N Taylor, K Reilly
Objective. The aim of this study was to develop a valid and reliable measure of therapy outcome for three allied health professions in Australia: speech pathology, occupational therapy, and physiotherapy. The Australian Therapy Outcome Measures (AusTOMs) enable measurement of the differences in client profiles and patterns of services provision across health care settings. In this paper we describe phase 1 of the study: the development and preliminary validation of the AusTOMs. Method. The UK TOMs, developed by Enderby, were scrutinized by the research team. A pilot core scale was developed, based on the structure of the TOM. Focus groups of expert clinicians for each profession, across the state of Victoria in Australia, analysed and refined the scales further. A mail-out survey was then sent to therapists across Australia to assess both face and content validity of the AusTOMs. Main results. A new tool, the AusTOM, was developed and tailored to the needs of each profession, with input from specialist clinicians and allied health researchers. The face and content validity of the new scales were assessed, and good consensus was obtained for the wording and content validity of the scales. The discriminative validity, concurrent validity, and reliability of the tool are now being evaluated. Conclusion. We have produced an outcome measure in the Australian context for speech pathology, physiotherapy, and occupational therapy. There are six speech pathology scales, nine physiotherapy scales, and 11 occupational therapy scales in the AusTOMs. A clinician chooses the relevant scale(s) for the client (based on the goals of therapy) and makes a rating across all domains for each scale. Further papers will report on the reliability, validity, and clinical usefulness of the AusTOMs.