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Performance-oriented Mobility Assessment in Those With Mental Retardation Living in an Institutional Facility

Adams, Cindy K. MPT; Cotton, Lance M. PT, DPT; O'Connell, Janelle PhD, PT, ATC; O'Connell, Dennis PhD, PT, FACSM

Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation: April-June 2007 - Volume 23 - Issue 2 - p 95–101
doi: 10.1097/

Objective Determine whether the Tinetti Assessment Tool (TAT) is a reliable assessment tool to use with those with mental retardation (MR). Determine interrater reliability and agreement between investigators for each of the 16 items of the TAT.

Design Correlation/reliability.

Setting Mental health/MR institutional facility.

Participants Convenience sample of 40 ambulatory subjects with IQ < 70.

Interventions Subjects were observed simultaneously but assessed independently in their daily environment. Gait, balance, and a total TAT scores were determined.

Main Outcome Measure(s) Interrater reliability and agreement for each item of the TAT and subtest data of balance and gait.

Results Seventy-five percent of the individuals tested were able to complete all of the 16 items of the TAT. Results reflected no significant difference between raters in the total score and subtest scores of balance and gait. Interrater reliability was found to be high at 0.89 for total TAT.

Conclusions The feasibility of performing the TAT in those with MR was found to be good. Interrater reliability was high and comparable with reliability scores obtained when administering the TAT with an elderly population.

Department of Physical Therapy, Hardin-Simmons University, Abilene, Tex.

Corresponding author: Janelle O'Connell, PhD, PT, ATC, Box 16065 HSU Station, 2200 Hickory, Abilene, TX 79698 (e-mail:

We thank the subjects and guardians who participated in this study. Special thanks is extended to the staff of the facility Quality Assurance/Rights Protection Office for their cooperation and clerical support, as well as the staff in the Central Office of TDMHMR for their assistance in explaining the research guidelines.

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.