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Measuring leisure among individuals with spinal cord injuries Botner, Erica M.

Abstract

Experiencing a spinal cord injury (SCI) results in many changes that may challenge an individual's ability to participate in leisure. Despite the benefits, leisure has been largely overlooked in rehabilitation research because it is difficult to measure. Scales exist that measure leisure behaviour; however, few have been tested for reliability and validity and even fewer have been developed for use among individuals with SCI. The purpose of this thesis was to: (1) evaluate the usability of the four scales in the Idyll Arbor Leisure Battery (LALB) using qualitative methodology; (2) provide estimates of the reliability of the IALB; and (3) provide support for the validity of the IALB in a sample of individuals with SCI. The IALB consists of four previously-developed scales that measure leisure attitude, leisure motivation, leisure satisfaction, and leisure interests. Qualitative evaluation raised some concerns with the IALB scales such as burden and the wording of the instructions and items. Several modifications were suggested. In the measurement study, forty-one individuals with SCI who had been discharged from inpatient rehabilitation at least one year prior to recruitment completed the leisure scales on two separate occasions. Test-retest reliability for the total scales and for most of the subscales was within an acceptable range for using the scales in descriptive research settings (ICCs > 0.75) and some evidence for their clinical use was discussed. When validated using standard measures of life satisfaction, depression, community integration, and leisure participation, most correlations were of the hypothesized magnitude and direction. Interrelationships among the IALB variables were also as expected providing support for the validity of the scales. Finally, although some problems were identified, factor analyses provided support for the previously defined factor structures of the IALB scales. The results provided evidence that the IALB has the potential to be a useful in measuring leisure attributes among individuals with SCI in both research and clinical settings. With some minor modifications, the psychometric properties of the scales may improve and the burden to individuals with SCI, clinicians, and researchers may diminish. Measurement standards, suggestions for modifications, and appropriate administration of the scales are discussed.

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