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Clinimetric Properties of the Alberta Infant Motor Scale in Infants Born Preterm

Pin, Tamis W. PT, PhD; de Valle, Katy PT, BAppSc(Physio); Eldridge, Bev PT, PhD; Galea, Mary P. PT, PhD

doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e3181e94481
Research Report

Purpose: The Alberta Infant Motor Scale (AIMS) is a standardized motor assessment for young infants. This study aimed to examine the reliability of the AIMS in a group of infants born at or before 29 weeks of gestation.

Methods: Fifty-nine infants born preterm were recruited. Two experienced pediatric physical therapists participated in this reliability study. Infants were assessed at 4, 8, 12, and 18 months corrected age (CA).

Results: Intrarater reliability was high (intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC] ≥0.99). The ICC for interrater reliability varied from 0.85 to 0.97. The ICC was low at 4 and 18 months CA.

Conclusions: The AIMS is reliable in evaluating motor development in infants born preterm. Clinicians should be cautious about using the AIMS in infants at very young ages and those approaching independent ambulation. Accurate placement of the window on a movement repertoire is crucial. Attention is required when using the AIMS in infants developing atypically.

This study of the AIMS reveals that the scale is reliable in evaluating motor development in infants born preterm. The authors caution clinicians when using the scale for infants at very young ages and those close to attaining independent ambulation and emphasize accurate placement of the window on a movement repertoire.

Children's Hospital at Westmead, Sydney (Dr Pin), Royal Children's Hospital (Ms de Valle and Dr Eldridge) and Rehabilitation Sciences Research Centre, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne (Dr Galea), Australia.

Correspondence: Mary P. Galea, PT, PhD, Rehabilitation Sciences Research Centre, School of Physiotherapy, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia (m.galea@unimelb.edu.au).

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.