Measuring family-centred practices of professionals in early intervention services in Taiwan
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BACKGROUND: Family-centred practices emphasize professional supports for forming partnerships with families in early intervention. The Measure of Processes of Care for Service Providers (MPOC-SP) measures the perceptions of paediatric service providers in supporting children and families. This study aimed to establish reliability of the Chinese version of the MPOC-SP (C-MPOC-SP) and to examine professional perceptions of family-centred practices in relation to professional discipline and years of experience. METHODS: A convenience sample of 94 physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, social workers and early childhood educators completed the C-MPOC-SP. Thirty-seven professionals completed the measure a second time within 2-4 weeks for test-retest reliability. Internal consistency and test-retest reliability were examined by Cronbach's α and intra-class correlation coefficient. Comparisons were made across professional disciplines by multivariate analyses of variance followed by analyses of variance. Relationships between years of experience and ratings of family-centred practices were examined by Pearson's correlation coefficients (r). RESULTS: Cronbach's α for items on each of the four scales of the C-MPOC-SP ranged from 0.80 to 0.92, indicating adequate internal consistency. Intra-class correlation coefficient between the initial and repeat completion of the C-MPOC-SP for each scale ranged from 0.56 to 0.77, indicating adequate to excellent test-retest reliability. Mean ratings for the Communicating Specific Information were significantly higher for physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists than for social workers (P = 0.001). The C-MPOC-SP scores were positively correlated with years of experience for all four scales (r = 0.23-0.38; P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: This study established adequate internal consistency and adequate to excellent test-retest reliability of the C-MPOC-SP in measuring perceptions of family centeredness of early intervention service providers. Cross-discipline differences were found in communicating specific information about the child. Higher perceptions of family centeredness were associated with more years of experience. The results support the utility of the C-MPOC-SP in professional education and programme evaluation of early intervention services in Taiwan.
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