The purpose of this study was to establish normative values for the multidirectional pediatric reach test in children ages 3-8 in both the seated and standing position.
Number of Subjects:
Sixty-nine children between the ages of 3 and 8 were recruited from two local daycares and an elementary school. Reach trial values were recorded using a standard tape measure attached to a wall aligned with the tip of the acromion. Each subject performed a total of 4 reaching trials in the forward, backward, and lateral directions. The above procedure was repeated with the subject seated excluding the backward reach trials. Each child was placed with the arm fully extended at 90 degrees shoulder flexion. The initial measurement for each trial was taken using the fingertip of the third digit at the starting point and then at the point where the participant could no longer reach any farther without losing balance or taking a step. Mean reach values were calculated within each age group and gender.
Inter-rater reliability was calculated on all 69 children ICC[2,1] = 0.88. In addition, mean reach values increased with age, were nearly equivalent between males and females in their respective age groups, and forward reach values were greater in sitting versus standing.
This data provides basic normative values for the multidirectional reach test for children ages 3-8 in both the sitting and standing positions. Further research on normative values for the pediatric multidirectional reach is necessary in order to develop a standardized scale with which clinicians can refer to regularly.
Development of a standardized scale for the pediatric multidirectional reach test would provide clinicians with an objective measurement tool with which to assess children and further extract conclusions regarding balance, fall risk, and postural stability.