Personal Outcomes Scale

The POS (Personal Outcomes Scale) is a questionnaire based on the eight domains of quality of life (Schalock & Verdugo, 2002). In an interview with the person and / or with someone from the person's network, experiences are asked about the quality of life. What do people with intellectual disabilities think about the quality of their life? The POS consists of a list of questions that address the 8 domains:

 

  • Personal Development

  • Self-Determination

  • Interpersonal relations

  • Social inclusion

  • Rights

  • Emotional well-being

  • Physicall well being

  • Material well-being

What is assessed on the Personal Outcomes Scale?
The Personal Outcomes Scale (POS) measures a person’s quality of life based on specific indicators associated with the eight quality of life core domains that have been validated in a series of cross-cultural studies. These eight domains are: personal development and self-determination (that reflect a person’s level of independence); interpersonal relations, social inclusion, and rights (that reflect a person’s social participation); and emotional, physical, and material well-being. The six specific indicators per domain are those developed and validated in the Flemish speaking part of Belgium and the Netherlands based on extensive input from focus groups and research. These were composed of persons with intellectual disability,
parents and staff who are familiar with these persons, and expert panel members from the field of intellectual disability. Each item is evaluated on a 3-point Likert Scale on the Self Report and / or Report of Others.

ADMINISTRATION PROCEDURES FOR SELF REPORT ASSESSMENT

Interviewer Qualifications


The Personal Outcomes Scale (POS) should be administered by a professional who has extensive experiences in the field of intellectual disability and training in the administration and scoring of behavioural assessments. This professional should be familiar with the QOL conceptual and measurement framework. In addition the interviewer should understand the importance of the concept of QOL in both the person’s life and the services and supports provided to the person. In administering the Scale, the interviewer should be sensitive to the cultural characteristics of respondents, the feelings of the respondent who is
being interviewed, and the fact that the experiences of most individuals with disabilities have not been good since previous evaluations have typically led to a diagnosis or imposed intervention. The interviewer should also be aware that responses may vary due to personal characteristics, experiences, and circumstances of respondents, and that accommodation may need to be made with respect to the language spoken and interviewing techniques, such as using prompts and augmentative / alternative communication techniques.

 


Assessment Focus


The interview is done by using a conversation format. The interviewer needs to remind the individual that he/she should think about “what is true generally.” That is, the respondent should think about life events and circumstances in general, realizing that transitory or momentary changes in one’s life should not determine how they score each item.
 

 

Pre-Interview ‘Getting to Know One Another’


The individual needs to understand clearly what is assessed on the POS and that the information obtained on the Scale will NOT be used to evaluate his / her ability or eligibility for services or supports, but rather provide information to himself /herself and perhaps parents, staff, and other stakeholders for quality improvement purposes. The actual interview should occur after the interviewer and the respondent have spent a little time ‘getting to know one another.’ This ‘pre-interview time’ can be used to discuss topics (e.g. the person’s job, hobbies, or family life) that are of interest to the person.
 

 

Respondent (Self-Report) Ratings
 

  1. During the CONVERSATIONAL interview a rating is determined for each item. The indicator item and the three potential responses are presented either verbally or via an augmentative communication system. Similarly the individual’s response can be recorded via a augmentative communication system. USE WHATEVER COMMUNICATION SYSTEM THAT IS APPROPRIATE TO THE PERSON TO BASE THE CONVERSATION ON, TO PRESENT THE INDICATOR ITEM AND THE THREE POTENTIAL RESPONSES, AND TO MAXIMIZE THE PERSONS ABILITY TO RESPOND FOR THEMSELVES.

  2. All items on the Scale must be scored. Each item is assessed on the basis of self-report by the respondent. The respondents may need to understand that there are no right or wrong answers and may also need to be encouraged to rate each item with frequent verbal encouragement and reinforcement provided throughout the Scale’s administration. The SelfReport Form of the Scale takes approximately one to one and a half hours to administer.

 

 

Qualitative Comments


In version 2.0 of the POS-A we added a section entitled Qualitative Comments. The interviewer uses this section to record statements from the individual as to what is important for his or her life, what personal goals does the person has for his of her life, what is needed to improve his / her quality of life, and what is needed to improve the supports the person receives.

 

Completing the Interview and Profile Forms

  1. Before the interview, the interviewer should complete the Interview Form.

  2. After the interview, the interviewer needs to transfer the scores for each item (3 = left option, 2 = middle option, 1 = right option) onto the Summary Profile. Directions for doing so are found on the Summary Profile

ADMINISTRATION PROCEDURES FOR REPORT BY OTHERS

 

Interviewer Qualifications
 

The Personal Outcomes Scale (POS) should be administered by a professional who has extensive experiences in the field of intellectual disability and training in the administration and scoring of behavioural assessments. This professional should be familiar with the QOL conceptual and measurement framework. In addition the interviewer should understand the importance of the concept of QOL in both the person’s life and the services and supports provided to the person. In administering the Scale, the interviewer should be sensitive to the cultural differences of the respondent, and the fact that the experiences of many families who have a family member with disabilities have not been good experiences since previous evaluations have typically led to a diagnosis or imposed intervention. The interviewer should also be aware that responses may vary due to personal characteristics, experiences, and circumstances of respondents, and that accommodation may need to be made with respect to the language spoken and interviewing techniques, such as using prompts and augmentative / alternative communication techniques.

 


Respondent Qualifications


Two respondents are interviewed when the Report by Others – version of the POS is used. A respondent may be a parent, relative, or a professional who works or lives with the person being evaluated and understands his/her current life experiences and circumstances. Respondents must have known the person being rated for at least six months and have had the recent opportunity to observe the person in one or more environments for a substantial period of time ( at least six months).
 

Assessment Focus


The interview is done by using a conversation format. The interviewer needs to remind the respondents that they should think about “what is generally true for the individual being rated.” That is, the respondents should think about life events and circumstances in general, realizing that transitory or momentary changes in the life of the person being assessed should
not determine how they score each item.
 

 

Pre-Interview ‘Getting to Know One Another’


The respondents needs to understand clearly what is assessed on the POS and that the information obtained on the Scale will NOT be used to evaluate the person’s ability or eligibility for services or supports, but rather provide information to the individual, parents, staff, and other stakeholders for quality improvement purposes. The actual interview should occur after the interviewer and respondent have spent a little time ‘getting to know one another.’ This ‘pre-interview time’ can be used to discuss topics (e.g. weather, the person’s job or hobbies, or family life) that are of interest to the person.
 

 

Respondent Ratings
 

  1. The respondents are interviewed together and based on their consensus a rating is obtained for each item

  2. All items on the Scale must be scored. The respondents may need to have some items clarified by the interviewer. Such clarification is both encouraged and acceptable. The Report by Others Form of the Scale takes approximately one hour to complete.

Completing the Interview and Profile Forms

  1. Before the interview, the interviewer should complete the Interview Form.

  2. After the interview, the interviewer needs to transfer the scores for each item onto the Summary Profile. Directions for doing this are found on the Summary Profile.