R2: Community Participation |CROR| - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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R2: Incorporating Stakeholder Perspectives of Community Participation


Why is this study needed?

An improved measure of community participation is needed which is based on a clear conceptualization of participation with applicability to the diverse population of rehabilitation consumers, utilizes the most appropriate test theory in its development and takes advantage of computer adaptive testing for efficient administration.

How will this study help patients and rehabilitation stakeholders?

A well-constructed item bank provides the basis for designing the best possible set of questions for a particular application, and consequently facilitates individualized tailored-testing in which one can compare the participation level of individuals across studies which have used different subsets of items.

What are the project objectives?

  • Objective 1:
    Operationalize contextual-based indicators of participation from the perspective of rehabilitation consumers, caregivers, providers, payers and policy makers;
  • Objective 2:
    Develop contextually-based participation items that are useful to guide rehabilitation services, monitor rehabilitation outcomes and inform the need for follow-up, community-based supports or system changes to sustain community participation long-term, and;
  • Objective 3:
    Evaluate a participation item bank with representative disability samples.

How will the project objectives be achieved?

This study will engage 5 stakeholder groups (consumers, primary caregivers, rehabilitation providers, payers and policy makers) in a series of focus groups to provide input on the content and domains of community participation. These interviews will be transcribed and qualitatively analyzed to create operational definitions of indicators of community participation. Then appropriate rating scales to operationalize participation will be developed. A second round of stakeholder feedback will be obtained about item and rating scale relevance. Next, representative samples of persons with disabilities will respond to each question in the item bank and this quantitative data will be analyzed to select psychometrically reliable and valid items. In the next project, R3, the item bank developed in this study will be applied in a computer adaptive testing (CAT) format which is an efficient method of test administration, targeting the questions presented to respondents based on their answers to the previous questions.

Performance outputs:

Access the Community Participation Indicators (CPI)

Access the CPI Scoring Guide

What agency funded the project?

National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)

NIDDR Grant Number: H133B040032

What is the duration of the project?

December 1, 2004 - November 30, 2009

Project Staff

Principal Investigator:

Allen Heinemann, Ph.D., Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago


Jennifer Bogner, Ph.D.
John Corrigan, Ph.D.
Joy Hammel, Ph.D.
C.A. Brooks, Ph.D.
Gale Whiteneck, Ph.D.

Related Publications and Work Products

Heinemann, AW. Community Participation Indicators Version V4.0. Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Measuring Rehabilitation Outcomes and Effectiveness. Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, 2007.  

Related Project Research Web Sites

National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)
National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC)

Contact Information

For researchers and students
Allen Heinemann, Ph.D.

For members of the media