Eden Marrison – Face and content validity of the Structured Observational Test of Function (SOTOF) from the perspective of patients with a neurological condition and a stroke rehabilitation multi-disciplinary team.

“I would advise other AHP researchers to take the leap and look at this scheme, I think this is something AHP staff should do more of and this scheme provides a well needed fund to start your research path”

Research Details


Eden Marrison

Profession and current role

I am a band 5 occupational therapist working within a stroke rehabilitation service at York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. I work closely within a multi-disciplinary team of occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, dieticians and medical staff. I work with patients who require further rehabilitation in an inpatient setting after having a stroke. We work with patients who have a variety of physical, cognitive, sensory, perceptual and neuropsychological issues to increase their independence in activities of daily living.

Employer (at the time of the award)

York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Title of study

Face and Content validity of the Structured Observational Test of Function (SOTOF) from the perspective of patients with a neurological condition and a stroke rehabilitation multi-disciplinary Team.

Amount awarded


Will this research influence your future research activity?

Yes, I aim to continue developing the evidence base for the SOTOF 2nd edition and to publish articles and attend conferences to support more therapists across the country and internationally to apply the SOTOF 2nd edition in their practice, service evaluation and research.

Contact Eden


Summary of Research

SOTOF was developed for older adults (age 60 years +) with possible neurological disturbance (Laver and Powell, 1995). It is a standardised test that provides a detailed description of occupational performance in personal activities of daily living (PADL) and associated neuropsychological deficits.

The 2nd edition has a formalised dynamic assessment component and revised scoring method. Owing to these new additions this study seeks to explore the perceptions and experiences of patients with neurological diagnoses who undertake the test. The study will also evaluate the usefulness of the findings of the SOTOF for informing the treatment plans of members of a stroke service multi-disciplinary team.

The SOTOF enables occupational therapists to identify patients’ perceptual, cognitive, motor and sensory needs and PADL function. It supports clinical reasoning, goal setting and intervention planning. It identifies the most effective prompting, cueing, task adaptation and mediation strategies to maximise the person’s function. The results from a SOTOF assessment enable members of the MDT to understand the occupational performance, neuropsychological function and deficits, and most effective strategies for enhancing the function of patients. This information could inform the goal setting and interventions delivered by other members of the MDT and inform the education of family carers.

Since receiving the grant in September 2017, I decided to do the project as part of a Masters by Research Degree, of which I enrolled in February 2018 at York St John University.I have worked through the NHS and HRA ethics procedures over several months.

The grant has mainly been used to employ a research assistant to support with the interviews and transcribing for the study. My research supervisor and I interviewed five candidates and employed a research assistant in May 2018.

I have completed all the necessary training (informed consent and good clinical practice) courses and developed a site file. We are currently in the data collection stage of the study; we aim to have completed all data collection by November 2018. I then plan to spend a few months analysing the data and writing up a 30,000 word thesis for the degree, finishing in February 2020. However, I will have the results from the study available to share by May 2019.

One Year Update – November 2018


  • The SOTOF assessment tool is now being utilised across the stroke and neurology units at the York Teaching Hospital, not only for the research study but as standard practice when appropriate.
  • The research project is ongoing with data collection continuing until the end of February 2019, and all data analysis completed by April 2019.  I will then be working on the write up & dissemination.