FOCUS© measure is developed and created by the authors of this article.
Measuring communicative participation using the FOCUS©: Focus on the Outcomes of Communication Under Six†
Article first published online: 13 JUN 2013
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Child: Care, Health and Development
Special Issue: Participation of children with disabilities: Measuring subjective and objective outcomes
Volume 39, Issue 4, pages 474–480, July 2013
How to Cite
Thomas-Stonell, N., Washington, K., Oddson, B., Robertson, B. and Rosenbaum, P. (2013), Measuring communicative participation using the FOCUS©: Focus on the Outcomes of Communication Under Six. Child: Care, Health and Development, 39: 474–480. doi: 10.1111/cch.12049
- Issue published online: 13 JUN 2013
- Article first published online: 13 JUN 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 18 JAN 2013
- Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Grant Numbers: 86573, 86884
- Bloorview Research Institute
- Ministry of Children and Youth Services, ON
- preschool children;
- speech and language therapy
The FOCUS© is a new outcome tool for use by both parents and clinicians that measures changes in the communicative participation skills of preschool children. Changes in communicative participation skills as measured by the FOCUS were compared across three groups of children: those with speech impairments only (SI), those with language impairments only (LI) and those with both speech and language impairments (S/LI).
Participating families (n = 112, 75 male children) were recruited through 13 Canadian organizations. Children ranged from 10 months to 6 years 0 months (mean = 2.11 years; SD = 1.18 years) and attended speech-language intervention. Parents completed the FOCUS at the start and end of treatment. There were 23 children in the SI group, 62 children in the LI group and 27 children in the S/LI group. The average amount of the children's therapy varied from 7 to 10 h.
The FOCUS captures changes in communicative participation for children with a range of communication disorder types and severities. All three groups of children made clinically important improvements according to their FOCUS scores (MCID ≥ 16 points). The FOCUS captured improvements in intelligibility, independent communication, play and socialization.
The FOCUS measured positive changes in communicative participation skills for all three groups of children after 7–10 h of speech-language therapy. An outcome measure that targets only specific speech and language skills would miss many of the important social function changes associated with speech-language treatment.