Validity and clinical utility of functional assessments in children with cerebral palsy.

Research paper by Nikolaos N Chrysagis, Emmanouil K EK Skordilis, Dimitra D Koutsouki

Indexed on: 19 Nov '13Published on: 19 Nov '13Published in: Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation


To examine the validity and clinical utility of functional assessments (1-minute walk test, 10-meter walk test, Timed Up & Go [TUG] test, Timed Up and Down Stairs [TUDS] test, sit-to-stand [STS] test, and lateral step-up [LSU] test).Cross-sectional study.Four special schools for adolescents with physical disabilities.Adolescents with spastic tetraplegia and diplegia (at levels I-III) were selected through convenience sampling (N=35; mean age, 14.97±2.03y).Not applicable.GMFM-88 (dimensions D and E), 1-minute walk, 10-meter walk, TUG, TUDS, STS, and LSU tests. Data were analyzed using Pearson intercorrelations, multiple regression analysis, and multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA).Significant moderate to high intercorrelations were found. Three significant positive predictors emerged (1-minute walk, 10-meter walk, and LSU) with the following regression equation: YGMFM-88 (dimensions D and E) = 5.708 + .402 × X1-minute walk + .920 × XLSU + .404 × X10-meter walk The MANOVA was significant (Λ=.163, F=14.732, P<.001, η(2)=.596), and post hoc comparisons revealed significant differences across Gross Motor Function Classification System Expanded and Revised levels in all paired comparisons for the 1-minute walk and LSU tests. For the 10-meter walk test, significant differences were evident in the level I versus level III and level II versus level III comparisons. No significant differences were found in the 10-meter walk test between levels I and II.These functional assessments (1-minute walk, LSU, and 10-meter walk tests) are simple to administer, quick, low cost, and user-friendly. Although these assessments are not a substitute for the criterion standard (GMFM-88), they may be used for a quick assessment in adolescents with cerebral palsy (levels I-III) either at school or during rehabilitation, especially when time is limited.