Measuring function in young children with impairments

Pediatr Phys Ther. 2010 Spring;22(1):42-51. doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e3181cd17e8.


Purpose: To determine the psychometric properties of a new functional assessment tool, the WeeFIM 0-3 instrument, intended to measure function in young children with physical, cognitive, or developmental impairments from birth to 3 years of age. Specific aims were to determine whether differences exist in WeeFIM 0-3 ratings in children with impairments as compared with those without, controlling for age and gender, and to determine the internal consistency, validity, and hierarchical properties of the instrument.

Methods: Cross-sectional study of 173 children with impairments and 354 without impairments.

Results: Controlling for age, children without impairments had significantly higher mean WeeFIM 0-3 ratings than children with impairments. There were no differences in mean ratings by gender. The instrument displayed high internal consistency, construct, and predictive validity; maintained a hierarchy of item difficulty; and discriminant properties.

Conclusion: Further reliability studies are needed to determine the instrument sensitivity and ability to detect change over time.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition Disorders / physiopathology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Developmental Disabilities / physiopathology
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Disabled Children*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Motor Skills
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Psychometrics / methods
  • Reproducibility of Results