Skip to Content
eNews Join our Mailing List
Find us on facebook, like the CanChild fan page

Donate to CanChild

Assessing motor function of children with Down syndrome: A validation study Investigators & Staff

  • C Gowland
  • D Russell
  • P Rosenbaum
  • B Palisano
  • J Gibson
  • S Walter
  • M Lane
  • M Gemus

Funding Agency

Medical Research Council of Canada (MRC) - $150, 078 (1994-1996)

Summary


This study was designed to examine the reliability, validity and responsiveness of the Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM) to describe and evaluate changes in motor function in children with Down Syndrome.

It involved assessing 123 children with Down syndrome (DS) twice over a six month period using the GMFM. The GMFM was scored in the standard way, as well as by incorporating parents' reports of their child's motor ability (reported score). It was discovered that the GMFM has excellent test-retest and inter-rater reliability. Correlations of change in the GMFM with parent, intervenor and video rater judgements of change were lower than predicted, but trends in GMFM changes were as predicted in age and severity subgroups. The GMFM was relatively more responsive than the motor scale of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development (BSID-II) for children with DS. The GMFM reported score demonstrated better evidence of reliability, validity and responsiveness than the standard scoring of the GMFM and is recommended for use with children with DS.

For more details on this research, refer to any or all of:

  • Russell, D., Palisano, R., Walter, S., Rosenbaum, P., Gemus, M., Gowland, C., Galuppi, B., &
    Lane, M. (1998). Evaluating motor function in children with Down syndrome: Validity of the GMFM. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 40, 693-701.
  • Walter, S., Eliasziw, M., & Donner, A. (1998). Sample size and optimal designs for reliability
    studies. Statistics in Medicine, 17, 101-110.
  • Gemus, M., Palisano, R., Russell, D., Rosenbaum, P., Walter, S., Galuppi, B., & Lane, M. (1997). Using the Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM) to evaluate motor development in children with Down syndrome. Physical and Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics.
  • Palisano, R., Walter, S., Russell, D., Rosenbaum, P., Gemus, M., Galuppi, B., & Cunningham, L. (2001). Gross Motor Function of Children with Down syndrome: Creation of Motor Growth Curves. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 82, 4: 494-500.
  • Russell, D., Palisano, R., Walter, S., Gemus, M., Rosenbaum, P., Gowland, C., Galuppi, B.,
    Cunningham, L., Lane, M., & Gibson, J. (1997). Measurement properties of the Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM) for children with Down syndrome. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 39 Suppl. 75, 23.

Impact

  • Provides a valid and responsive method to examine the motor function in children with Down syndrome.