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J Paediatr Child Health. 1996 Oct;32(5):386-90.

Use of an occupational therapy motor performance checklist by a school health service: a pilot study.

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Queenscliff Child and Family Health Service, Manly Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.



The aim of this pilot study was to assess whether the School Health Service could play a role in identifying the children in most need of community occupational therapy services.


A two-tiered referral system, which incorporated a Motor Performance Checklist (MPC) devised by the authors, was used. This checklist consisted of 12 gross and fine motor items and was administered to 123 children in their first year of school. Comparison was made between parent/teacher referrals alone and the two-tiered referral system as measured against a 'gold standard' test (the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency) in a smaller subgroup.


Results indicated that the two-tiered referral system incorporating the MPC had a sensitivity of 75% and specificity of 95% while the teacher/parent referrals had a sensitivity of 88% but a low specificity of only 41%. There was no significant difference in sensitivity (z = 0, P > 0.05) but a highly significant difference in specificity (z = 3.56, P < 0.005) between these two systems.


This two-tiered referral system has the potential to impact significantly on paediatric occupational therapy utilization, service delivery and waiting times in the community health setting.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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