Issues in participation measurement in research and clinical applications

Allen W. Heinemann, David Tulsky, Marcel Dijkers, Margaret Brown, Susan Magasi, Wayne Gordon, Holly Demark

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


This article summarizes the recommendations made by participants at the International Symposium on Measurement of Participation in Rehabilitation Research. We draw on presentations by researchers, clinicians, and consumers; a respondent panel; and small group discussions that included symposium faculty and participants. Breakout groups discussion questions focused on several key issues: What do we know about defining and measuring participation? What don't we know? What are the research barriers to defining and measuring participation? What are the research priorities to resolve these obstacles and develop better instruments? What are the organizations and opportunities to continue the work of this symposium? What are the major aspects of participation that should be measured? With what kinds of participation constructs do item response theory methods and clinimetric and other psychometric approaches fit? Do people form "types" of "participants" that can be categorized? Which person characteristics should be considered when evaluating differential item functioning? What cultural and physical features should be considered in measuring participation? What legacy measures could be used as an item pool to tap "participation?" Can a crosswalk unite "legacy" participation measures? Reporters summarized the subgroups' discussions, and then the larger group focused on shared concerns, which are summarized here.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S72-S76
JournalArchives of physical medicine and rehabilitation
Issue number9 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Sep 2010


  • Patient participation
  • Psychometrics
  • Quality of life
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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