The gross motor function classification system for cerebral palsy: a study of reliability and stability over time

Dev Med Child Neurol. 2000 May;42(5):292-6. doi: 10.1017/s0012162200000529.


Children with cerebral palsy (CP) experience a change in motor function with age and development. It is important to consider this expected change in offering a prognosis, or in assessing differences in motor function after an intervention. The Gross Motor Function Classification System for CP (GMFCS) has been developed for these purposes. This study was based on a retrospective chart review of 85 children with CP followed from < or =2 to > or =12 years of age. The GMFCS was applied to clinical notes by two blinded raters four times throughout the study. Interrater reliability was high (G=0.93). Test-retest reliability was high (G=0.79). The positive predictive value of the GMFCS at 1 to 2 years of age to predict walking by age 12 years was 0.74. The negative predictive value was 0.90. The GMFCS can validly predict motor function for children with CP. The results are discussed in terms of their implications for clinical practice and future research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Palsy / classification*
  • Cerebral Palsy / diagnosis
  • Cerebral Palsy / rehabilitation
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neurologic Examination / statistics & numerical data*
  • Observer Variation
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Psychomotor Disorders / classification*
  • Psychomotor Disorders / diagnosis
  • Psychomotor Disorders / rehabilitation
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies