Construct validity of the FOCUS© (Focus on the Outcomes of Communication Under Six): a communicative participation outcome measure for preschool children Journal Articles uri icon

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  • AbstractObjectiveThe aim of this study was to establish the construct validity of the Focus on the Outcomes of Communication Under Six (FOCUS©). This measure is reflective of concepts in the International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health – Children and Youth framework. It was developed to capture ‘real‐world’ changes (e.g. communicative participation) in preschoolers' communication following speech‐language intervention.MethodA pre–post design was used. Fifty‐two parents of 3‐ to 6‐year‐old preschoolers attending speech‐language therapy were included as participants. Speech‐language therapists provided individual and/or group intervention to preschoolers. Intervention targeted: articulation/phonology, voice/resonance, expressive/receptive language, play, and use of augmentative devices. Construct validity for communicative participation was assessed using pre‐intervention and post‐intervention parent interviews using the FOCUS© and the communication and socialization domains of the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales‐II (VABS‐II).ResultsSignificant associations were found between the FOCUS©, measuring communicative participation, and the VABS‐II domains for: (i) pre‐intervention scores in communication (r = 0.53, P < 0.001; 95% CI 0.30–0.70) and socialization (r = 0.67, P < 0.001; 95% CI 0.48–0.80); (ii) change scores over‐time in communication (r = 0.45, P < 0.001; 95% CI 0.201–0.65) and socialization (r = 0.39, P = 0.002; 95% CI 0.13–0.60); and (iii) scores at post‐intervention for communication (r = 0.53, P < 0.001; 95% CI 0.30–0.70) and for socialization (r = 0.37, P = 0.003; 95% CI 0.11–0.50).ConclusionsThe study provided evidence on construct validity of the FOCUS© for evaluating real‐world changes in communication. We believe that the FOCUS© is a useful measure of communicative participation.


  • Washington, K
  • Thomas‐Stonell, N
  • Oddson, B
  • McLeod, S
  • Warr‐Leeper, G
  • Robertson, B
  • Rosenbaum, Peter Leon

publication date

  • July 2013

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