Validation of sensory outcome measure: Findings from the 2011 Survey of Pathways to Diagnosis and Services

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To evaluate item-factor structures of the 15 sensory items from the Survey of Pathways to Diagnosis and Services (Pathways) and examine the best fitting model.
Methods: The study subjects were 1,968 children aged 6-17 years, who had ever been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and/or Intellectual Disability (ID). Factor analyses and item response theory models
were used to determine the best fitting item-factor structure of the sensory items. The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaires (SDQ) was used to test the concurrent validity of the sensory severity estimates.
Results: A bifactor MIRT model (a general and four sensory factors) was selected as the best fitting model. All items statistically fitted to the bifactor model (
p > .01) and showed moderate correlations with all five subscales
of the SDQ (rs = .31 ~.51, p < .0001). The general sensory score differentiated the four different diagnosticgroups (ASD, ID, ASD with ID, and no current symptoms) [F (3,1961) = 207.4, p < .0001].
Conclusion: The Pathways sensory items yielded reliable estimates of the general and each corresponding sensory factor by applying a bifactor MIRT model. The sensory score can be used as a valid sensory measure in the population survey.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-182
JournalKorean Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2019


  • Autism spectrum disorders,
  • Intellectual disorders, Sensory responsiveness, Sensory seeking, Sensory sensitivity


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