As part of a randomized controlled trial, a pilot study was conducted to determine the inter-rater reliability of four assessments administered by individuals with and without a background in health care. The assessments included in the study were the Barthel Index (Mahoney & Barthel, 1965), the Mini Mental Status Examination (Folstein, Folstein, & McHugh, 1975), the Philadelphia Geriatric Center Morale Scale (Lawton, 1975), and the Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale (Lawton & Brody, 1969).
The scores of three assessors, one senior occupational therapist, and two research assistants were examined. The research assistants were trained to administer the assessments by the occupational therapist but had no previous background in health care.
Inter-rater reliability for the measures varied from .97 to 1.00 indicating that, with adequate training, research assistants with no health care background could administer the assessments in a consistent manner.