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Factors Affecting Functional Reach Scores in Youth with Typical Development

Volkman, Kathleen G. MS, PT; Stergiou, Nicholas PhD; Stuberg, Wayne PhD, PT, PCS; Blanke, Daniel PhD; Stoner, Julie PhD

Pediatric Physical Therapy:
doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e318196f68a
Research Report

Purpose: Functional Reach Test scores were examined for the effects of traditional and alternate methods and subject characteristics.

Methods: Eighty subjects aged 7 to 16 years were tested. Effects of measurement method (from finger-to-finger or from toe-to-finger) and style of reach (1 or 2 arms) were investigated. Five subject variables were analyzed for interactions among the methods and groups defined by subject characteristics.

Results: Measurement method and style of reach showed a significant interaction. Interaction of method with subject characteristics was significant for age, height, and base of support only. Height groups by quartile were significantly different and scores increased with height, especially in toes-to-finger methods.

Conclusions: Functional Reach Test scores were affected by method of reach and method of measurement. Height categories may be more useful when using the test for discriminative purposes, especially with toes-to-finger methods.

In Brief

The authors found that FRT scores are affected by the method of reach and the method of measurement. Height categories may be more useful when using the test for discriminative purposes.

Author Information

Physical Therapy Education (K.V.), Munroe-Meyer Institute (W.S.), University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha; School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation (N.S., D.B.), University of Nebraska at Omaha, Omaha; and Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology (J.S.), University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City

Address correspondence to: Kathleen G. Volkman, MS, PT, Division of Physical Therapy Education, Box 984420, Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198-4420. E-mail:

Supported by NIH NICHD (K25HD047194) and US Department of Education NIDRR (H133G040118) (to N.S.). Supported in part by grant T73MC00023 from the Maternal and Health Child Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, and in part by grant 90DD0601 from the Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD), Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services (to W.S.).

This work was completed in partial fulfillment of a Master of Science degree program in Exercise Science for Kathleen G. Volkman.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.