Pediatric Physical Therapy

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Pediatric Physical Therapy:
Research Reports

Validity and Reliability of a Pediatric Reach Test

Bartlett, Doreen PhD, PT; Birmingham, Trevor PhD, PT

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Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate the validity and reliability of a Pediatric Reach Test (PRT).

Methods: The Functional Reach Test was modified to incorporate side reaching in addition to forward reaching in both sitting and standing. Nineteen children developing typically (age 3.0 to 12.5 years) completed the standing section of the PRT as well as laboratory force platform tests of standing balance. On two separate occasions, two different raters evaluated 10 children with cerebral palsy (age 2.6 to 14.1 years) in both the sitting and standing sections of the PRT.

Results: Concurrent validity was supported with the observation of moderate-to-high correlations between the standing section of the PRT and laboratory tests of limits of stability (r = 0.42 to 0.77). Construct validity was supported with the observation of high correlations between the standing section of the PRT and a laboratory test of steadiness in quiet stance (r = −0.79) and age (r = 0.83). Construct validity was also supported with a high correlation between the total PRT score and Gross Motor Function Classification System level (rs = −0.88) among the sample of children with cerebral palsy. Test-retest reliability and intertester reliability with children with cerebral palsy ranged from intraclass correlation coefficients of 0.54 to 0.88 and 0.50 to 0.93, respectively.

Conclusions: This study provides evidence that the PRT is a simple, valid, and reliable measure with potential for use with children.

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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