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The MEQAS outcome measure

The Measure of Environmental Qualities of Activity Settings (MEQAS) is an observer-rated questionnaire that allows people observing an activity setting to record observations on different aspects of the activity environment. “Activity settings” are places in which people do things (King, Rigby, & Batorowicz, 2013) such as shopping in a store at the mall or playing ping pong at a community centre. These aspects include qualities of the activity setting and the nature of the opportunities it affords or provides.

The MEQAS is an objective, valid and reliable observation measure that allows trained raters to capture qualities and affordances of an activity setting that they are observing.

Why do you need the MEQAS measure?

There is increasing interest in the literature in measures of the physical and social environment, but tools are lacking. Some environments are more developmentally favourable than others, but there are few ways of directly examining properties of environments in terms of their qualities and affordances. This measure fills that void.

How was the MEQAS measure developed?

We followed a systematic development process (described in King et al., 2014) to develop the MEQAS outcome measure. The MEQAS measure was created by generating items based on the literature and engaging in consultations with experts and youth. We then pre-tested and piloted the measure, and undertook psychometric testing with trained raters with backgrounds in occupational therapy.

How do I administer the MEQAS measure?

To administer the MEQAS measure, people should first observe an activity setting for 10 minutes, then begin completing the MEQAS as they continue to observe the activity setting.


King, G., Rigby, P., & Batorowicz, B. (2013). Conceptualizing participation in context for children and youth with disabilities: An activity setting perspective. Disability and Rehabilitation, 35(18), 1578-1585. doi:10.3109/09638288.2012.748836

King, G., Rigby, P., Batorowicz, B., McMain-Klein, M., Petrenchik, T., Thompson, L., & Gibson, M. (2014). Development of a direct observation Measure of Environmental Qualities of Activity Settings. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 56(8), 763-769. doi:10.1111/dmcn.12400