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THE PEABODY DEVELOPMENTAL MOTOR SCALES-2: DOES AN INCREASED NUMBER OF TRIALS RESULT IN HIGHER SCORES FOR CHILDREN WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DELAY?

Pediatric Physical Therapy: April 2004 - Volume 16 - Issue 1 - p 75-76
doi: 10.1097/01.PEP.0000115223.79541.5C
Section Information: Abstracts of Poster and Platform Presentations for the 2004 Combined Sections Meeting: Platform Presentations
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T.G. Weatherly, D.R. Fay, Physical Therapy, Arizona School of Health Sciences, Mesa, AZ.

PURPOSE/HYPOTHESIS: This study investigated whether increasing the number of trials allowed during administration of the Peabody Developmental Motor Scales-2 (PDMS-2) would change test outcomes for children with developmental delay. It was hypothesized that scores would increase, as extra trials during administration of both the Peabody Developmental Motor Scales and the PDMS-2 have been shown to significantly increase test outcomes for typically developing children.

NUMBER OF SUBJECTS: Twenty children between the ages of 2 and 5 years with previously documented gross motor delay participated in this study. Over 75% of the children also had documented cognitive or language delays. MATERIALS/METHODS: The gross motor portion of the PDMS-2 was administered according to the standardized method described in the manual with up to three trials given per item. If the child did not pass an item, an additional three trials were allowed and the item was then re-scored. Overall gross motor and subtest scores were calculated under both conditions and analyzed using a repeated measures MANOVA (P < 0.05). Changes in score for each child were analyzed using 95% confidence intervals. Descriptive statistics were calculated to determine percentage of change in each subtest as well as sensitivity to change of specific test items.

RESULTS: Developmental Gross Motor Quotients, percentile ranks, and standard scores did not increase significantly when extra trials were allowed. When analyzed individually, four of the children showed an increase in ceiling level with additional trials and two showed a significant increase in score. Extra trials were needed on 45% of the PDMS-2 items, but this resulted in an increased item score only 10% of the time. Further examination of the subtests revealed the object manipulation subtest was the least sensitive to change.

CONCLUSIONS: Children with developmental delay do not benefit from extra trials on the PDMS-2 in the same manor as typically developing children. Increased fatigue and frustration, as well as decreased attention, appear to outweigh the benefit of additional trials for these children. Further investigation may be warranted to determine why 10% of the children showed significant changes in score.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE: These findings support that children with developmental delay should be assessed with the PDMS-2 using the standardized protocol established in the manual.

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.