ChOMPS: A parent-report measure for children with feeding problems

Published in both our Birth to Three and Preschool & School-Age reviews this month.


Ever wish for a parent-report measure to include as part of your evaluation and treatment of children with feeding problems? Thanks to Pados et al. we now have the Child Oral and Motor Proficiency Scale (ChOMPS) to assist us in gaining an objective assessment of eating and movement abilities. This checklist does NOT replace clinical assessment or provide a diagnosis, but it does help assess eating and related skills in children ages 6 months to 7 years. Sounds good, right? Well, it gets even better. The ChOMPS is available for free!* 

We’re going to review two related studies on the ChOMPS: the first study by Pados et al. details the development and content validation of this measure.

The ChOMPS was developed in four phases:

  1. Item generation based on existing literature and assessment tools

  2. Content validation with feeding experts

  3. Content validation with parents

  4. Readability testing

The ChOMPS was developed to help quantify what a child can or cannot do when it comes to observable eating skills like, “my child can drink from a straw” or, “my child can sit upright without support.” Parents can respond to these items by checking yes, sometimes, or not yet. The checklist was made in phase one and revisions to the checklist were made after phases two and three. This ultimately yielded a 70-item list written below a sixth-grade reading level. If you want more specific information on each phase be sure to click over to the article.

The next study, by Park et al., statistically analyzed the items on the checklist and evaluated the psychometric properties of the ChOMPS. A total of 364 parents of children with and without feeding problems completed the checklist. The authors used a statistical analysis (principle component analysis to be specific, more here for you stats whizzes) to determine subscales within the checklist. Based on the various analyses made by the researchers, seven items were removed. This left the researchers with a 63-item measure that represented four subscales: complex movement patterns, basic movement patterns, oral–motor coordination, and fundamental oral–motor skills. They also determined that the final version of the ChOMPS is both valid (e.g. differentiates children with vs without feeding difficulties, and subscales align as we’d want with tests like ASQ-3 and PROMIS) and reliable (e.g. test–retest—you’ll get the same or similar scores if you give it twice). Long story short, the ChOMPS is looking pretty good! 

So now what? Well, remember, this measure is not intended to replace clinical assessment or provide a diagnosis. However, we could pretty easily integrate it into our feeding evaluations and even use it to help evaluate a child’s response to intervention. For more information on norms by age, check out their 2018 paper. Also, keep your eyes peeled for a 10-question ChOMPS screener the authors hope to release in the near future. Thanks to these researchers we’ve now got a great new tool to add to our SLP toolbox! 

*This link connects you to several free feeding assessment tools, including the ChOMP’s complementary assessment the Pediatric Eating Assessment Tool (PediEAT). These measures were gathered together by a group called Feeding Flock. We have yet to review all of these measures because we just launched medical content. But stay tuned for some Throwbacks!


Pados, B.F., Thoyre, S.M., Park, J., Estrem, H.H., & McComish, C. (2019). Development and content validation of the Child Oral and Motor Proficiency Scale (ChOMPS). Journal of Early Intervention. doi: 10.1177/1053815119841091.

Park, J., Pados, B.F., Thoyre, S.M., Estrem, H.H., & McComish, C. (2019). Factor structure and psychometric properties of the child oral and motor proficiency scale. Journal of Early Intervention. doi:10.1177/1053815119841092.