The Head Control Scale: Inter-Rater Reliability among Therapy Students

Samantha Grant, Rachel Reed, Amy Armstrong-Heimsoth, Roy St. Laurent, Jodi Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Research has demonstrated the Head Control Scale to have almost perfect inter-rater reliability when utilized by experienced clinicians. This study examines if further clinical experience or additional training is required to use the scale for assessment of head control in a reliable and effective manner. First and second year physical and occupational therapy students were shown five videotaped subjects of varying ages and abilities in four positions (supine, prone, supported sitting, and pull to sit). Students then utilized each subscale of the HCS to rate every subject on the rating scale in each of the positions. When utilizing the kappa coefficient statistic, the inter-rater reliability among student participants was “almost perfect” on each of the subscales. Thus, the Head Control Scale was found to be reliable with no significant difference in interrater reliability when used by clinicians or students suggesting that additional training or expertise is not required to reliably use this scale in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)542-551
Number of pages10
JournalOccupational Therapy in Health Care
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2023


  • Assessment
  • head control
  • occupational therapy
  • pediatrics
  • physical therapy
  • subscale

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Occupational Therapy


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