Objective: To verify the concurrent validity and interobserver reliability of the Alberta Infant Motor Scale (AIMS) in premature infants followed-up at the outpatient clinic of Instituto Fernandes Figueira, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (IFF/Fiocruz), in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Methods: A total of 88 premature infants were enrolled at the follow-up clinic at IFF/Fiocruz, between February and December of 2006. For the concurrent validity study, 46 infants were assessed at either 6 (n = 26) or 12 (n = 20) months' corrected age using the AIMS and the second edition of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development, by two different observers, and applying Pearson's correlation coefficient to analyze the results. For the reliability study, 42 infants between 0 and 18 months were assessed using the Alberta Infant Motor Scale, by two different observers and the results analyzed using the intraclass correlation coefficient.
Results: The concurrent validity study found a high level of correlation between the two scales (r = 0.95) and one that was statistically significant (p < 0.01) for the entire population of infants, with higher values at 12 months (r = 0.89) than at 6 months (r = 0.74). The interobserver reliability study found satisfactory intraclass correlation coefficients at all ages tested, varying from 0.76 to 0.99.
Conclusions: The AIMS is a valid and reliable instrument for the evaluation of motor development in high-risk infants within the Brazilian public health system.