Inter-Rater Reliability of the Functional Communication Measures: a Pilot Study


Amy L. Butler

Date of Graduation

Spring 2004


Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders


Communication Sciences and Disorders

Committee Chair

Klaas Bakker


The purpose of this study was to examine the inter-rater reliability of the Functional Communication Measures (FCMs). The FCMs are a seven-point rating scale system developed by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) for documenting patients' functional communication and swallowing abilities over time. The FCMs include scales for 15 different disorders. Ten clinicians of a group of eleven adult clients selected the appropriate FCBs for their client and provided ratings based on the client's performance during a recent therapy session. Nine previous clinicians of these clients observed the same session and also provided ratings using the same set of FCMs. Across all FCM scales and clients involved in this study, previous and current clinicians provided identical ratings 60% of the time. The remaining 40% involved ratings that differed one point between the raters. Overall, then, previous and current clinicians provided nearly corresponding ratings of the FCMs used with their clients. No scale was used often enough to allow for determination of inter-rater reliability coefficients.


Functional Communication Measures, functional assessment, inter-rater reliability, communication disorders, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Subject Categories

Communication Sciences and Disorders


© Amy L. Butler