Development and Evaluation of a New Observational Tool to Document the Use of Teaching Strategies in Physiotherapy

Jorine Schoenmaker*, Han Houdijk, Bert Steenbergen, Heleen A. Reinders-Messelink, Marina M. Schoemaker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Effectiveness of motor interventions depends not only on learning content but also on the used teaching strategies. However, little is known regarding the application of teaching strategies in clinical practice. This study aimed to develop and assess psychometric properties of a new Dutch observational instrument to document teaching strategies: the Optimizing Performance through Intrinsic Motivation and Attention for Learning (OPTIMAL) Strategies Observational Tool (OSOT). Based on the OPTIMAL theory for motor learning from Wulf and Lewthwaite, the OSOT includes three variables: (a) expectancies, (b) autonomy, and (c) attention. The OSOT's content was created by extracting relevant items from literature and existing instruments. To assess its psychometric properties, a convenience sample of 18 physiotherapy sessions for children with developmental coordination disorder was employed. Video recordings of these sessions were analyzed using Noldus The Observer XT. Relative duration (percentage of session time) was calculated for each item. Intraclass correlations were calculated to examine interrater and intrarater reliability. The design process resulted in 43 items in total. Interrater and intrarater intraclass correlations ranged from .48 to .99, with 81% (interrater), respectively, 95% (intrarater) of the items scoring above .75, indicating excellent agreement. The OSOT enables systematic and reliable observation of Optimizing Performance through Intrinsic Motivation and Attention for Learning teaching strategies used by therapists in Dutch clinical settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-322
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Motor Learning and Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug-2023


  • developmental coordination disorder
  • intervention
  • motor performance
  • motor teaching
  • physical therapy
  • rehabilitation

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