Psychometric properties of functional mobility tools in hereditary spastic paraplegia and other childhood neurological conditions

Dev Med Child Neurol. 2012 Jul;54(7):596-605. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2012.04284.x. Epub 2012 Apr 24.


Aim: To evaluate studies on the psychometric properties of measurement tools used to quantify functional mobility in children with hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) and other childhood neurological conditions.

Method: Two independent reviewers identified measures previously used by clinicians to quantify functional mobility. Because our primary interest was HSP, the first search identified measurement tools in studies that included those with HSP. To enhance the generalizability, the second search examined the reliability, validity, and responsiveness of tools in children with a range of neurological conditions such as cerebral palsy, spinal muscular atrophy, Down syndrome, and traumatic brain injury. The Consensus-based Standards for the Selection of Health Measurement Instruments was used to rate the methodological quality of identified articles.

Results: The Gillette Functional Assessment Questionnaire (FAQ), the Functional Mobility Scale (FMS), the Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM), the Rivermead Motor Assessment, and the Walking Index for Spinal Cord Injury II were identified for quantifying functional mobility. The FMS and GMFM were reliable, valid, and responsive to changes across a range of childhood neurological conditions. The FAQ was reliable and valid for measuring functional mobility in similar populations.

Interpretation: The FAQ, FMS, and GMFM are valid, reliable, and responsive measures in children with a range of neurological conditions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Cerebral Palsy / physiopathology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Down Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Motor Activity*
  • Movement*
  • Muscular Atrophy, Spinal / physiopathology*
  • Psychometrics*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Spastic Paraplegia, Hereditary / physiopathology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Walking