Content » Vol 47, Issue 5

Original report

Development and preliminary evaluation of the caregiver assistive technology outcome measure

W. Ben Mortenson, Louise Demers, Marcus J. Fuhrer, Jeffrey W. Jutai, James Lenker, Frank DeRuyter
Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of British Columbia, Canada
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1952


Introduction: Assistive technology is often recommended with the aim of increasing user independence and reducing the burden on informal caregivers. However, until now, there has been no tool to measure the outcomes of this process for caregivers.
Objectives: To describe the development of the Caregiver Assistive Technology Outcome Measure (CATOM), a tool developed to measure the impact of assistive technology interventions on the burden experienced by informal caregivers, and to undertake preliminary evaluation of its psychometric properties.
Methods: Based on an existing conceptual framework, existing measures were reviewed to identify potential items in a preliminary version of the measure. Cognitive interviewing was used to identify items needing clarification. A revised CATOM and manual were then reviewed by clinicians. After revising some items based on the interview findings, the measure was piloted as part of an intervention study examining the impact of assistive technology on the users’ informal caregivers (n = 44).
Results: Based on a review of 12 existing measures, a 3-part measure was developed and questions were refined based on cognitive interviews with informal caregivers and feedback experienced assistive technology practitioners. For the activity-specific and overall portions of the measure, the 6-week, test-retest intraclass correlations coefficients were 0. 88 (95% CI 0. 64–0. 96) and 0. 86 (95% CI 0. 60–0. 95), respectively.
The CATOM data correlated as hypothesized with other measures.
Conclusion: The CATOM is a promising measure with good content validity and encouraging psychometric properties.

Lay Abstract


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