A Pilot Study of Observational Motor Assessment in Infants and Toddlers with Spinal Cord Injury

Calhoun, Christina L. PT, MS; Gaughan, John P. PhD; Chafetz, Ross S. PT, DPT, MPH; Mulcahey, M J. OTR/L, PhD

doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e31818f5bbd
Research Report

Purpose: To examine the reliability of an observational movement assessment in infants and children with spinal cord injury (SCI) by evaluating interrater agreement of joint actions assessed in the International Standards for Neurological Classification of Spinal Cord Injury using the Active Movement Scale testing technique and scoring criteria.

Methods: A series of 5 consecutive children with SCI aged 12 months to 4 years were enrolled in this pilot study to evaluate interrater agreement of observational movement.

Results: There was high agreement of examination scores for unimpaired muscles and completely paralyzed muscles in strength comparisons between the 2 examiners. There was much less agreement of examination scores of partially intact muscles.

Conclusion: Observational movement assessment may be one component of assessing motor function in infants and toddlers with SCI, but additional work must be done.

After employing the Active Movement Scale testing technique and scoring criteria along with International Standards for Neurological Classification of Spinal Cord Injury, the authors concluded that observational movement assessment may be used as a part of assessment of motor function in infants and toddlers with SCI, but additional work must be done

Shriners Hospitals for Children (C.L.C., R.S.C., M.J.M.); and Biostatistics Consulting Center, Temple University School of Medicine (J.P.G.), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Address correspondence to: Christina L. Calhoun, PT, MS, Shriners Hospitals for Children, 3551 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19140. E-mail: ccalhoun@shrinenet.org

Supported by the Shriners Hospitals for Children Research Advisory Board Grant #8956 (to M.J.M.) and supported by the Shriners Hospitals for Children, Philadelphia Hospital.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.