Aim: The purpose of this study was to create and validate the Communication Function Classification System (CFCS) for children with cerebral palsy (CP), for use by a wide variety of individuals who are interested in CP. This paper reports the content validity, interrater reliability, and test-retest reliability of the CFCS for children with CP.
Method: An 11-member development team created comprehensive descriptions of the CFCS levels, and four nominal groups comprising 27 participants critiqued these levels. Within a Delphi survey, 112 participants commented on the clarity and usefulness of the CFCS. Interrater reliability was completed by 61 professionals and 68 parents/relatives who classified 69 children with CP aged 2 to 18 years. Test-retest reliability was completed by 48 professionals who allowed at least 2 weeks between classifications. The participants who assessed the CFCS were all relevant stakeholders: adults with CP, parents of children with CP, educators, occupational therapists, physical therapists, physicians, and speech-language pathologists.
Results: The interrater reliability of the CFCS was 0.66 between two professionals and 0.49 between a parent and a professional. Professional interrater reliability improved to 0.77 for classification of children older than 4 years. The test-retest reliability was 0.82.
Interpretation: The CFCS demonstrates content validity and shows very good test-retest reliability, good professional interrater reliability, and moderate parent-professional interrater reliability. Combining the CFCS with the Gross Motor Function Classification System and the Manual Ability Classification System contributes to a functional performance view of daily life for individuals with CP, in accordance with the World Health Organization's International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health.
© The Authors. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology © 2011 Mac Keith Press.