Motor function measure: validation of a short form for young children with neuromuscular diseases

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2013 Nov;94(11):2218-26. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2013.04.001. Epub 2013 Apr 18.


Objective: To validate a useful version of the Motor Function Measure (MFM) in children with neuromuscular diseases aged <7 years old.

Design: Two prospective cohort studies that documented the MFM completion of children aged between 2 and 7 years old.

Setting: French-speaking rehabilitation departments from France, Belgium, and Switzerland.

Participants: Healthy children (n=194) and children with a neuromuscular disease (n=88).

Interventions: Patients were rated by the MFM either once or twice by trained medical professionals, with a delay between the 2 MFMs ranging between 8 and 30 days.

Main outcome measure: Intra- and interrater reliability of the MFM.

Results: The subtests making up the MFM-32, a scale monitoring severity and progression of motor function in patients with a neuromuscular disease in 3 functional domains, were carried out in healthy children aged 2 to 7 years. Twenty items of the MFM-32 were successfully completed by these children and were used to constitute the MFM-20. Principal component analysis of the MFM-20 confirmed the 3 functional domains. Inter- and intrarater reliability of the 3 subscores and total score were high (intraclass correlation coefficient >.90), and discriminant validity was good.

Conclusions: The MFM-20 can be used as an outcome measure for assessment of motor function in young children with neuromuscular disease.

Keywords: ANOVA; CGI; CMT; Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease; Clinical Global Impression; DMD; Disability evaluation; Duchenne muscular dystrophy; HFMS; Hammersmith Functional Motor Scale; ICC; MFM; Motor Function Measure; Neuromuscular diseases; Rehabilitation; SMA; VAS; analysis of variance; intraclass correlation coefficient; spinal muscular atrophy; visual analog scale.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Skills*
  • Neuromuscular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Neuromuscular Diseases / rehabilitation*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Psychometrics