Secondary Logo

Journal Logo


Commentary on “Validity of General Movement Assessment Based on Clinical and Home Videos”

Ricci, Eileen PT, DPT, MS, PCS; Reidy, Joanna

Author Information
Pediatric Physical Therapy: January 2020 - Volume 32 - Issue 1 - p 44
doi: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000671
  • Free

“How should I apply this information?”

This study supports the use of the Prechtl General Movement Assessment (GMA) in clinical practice by reaffirming its predictive validity for identifying infants with cerebral palsy. It provides sample instructions used successfully by parents to submit analyzable videos to a trained clinician for scoring. Physical therapists (PTs) in these settings can record videos or support parents by providing simple video instructions. Encouraging parents to be leaders and partners in their children's welfare is an early intervention approach, which is supported by legislation as well as the Physical Therapy Code of Ethics. The GMA provides early, important information to parents and clinicians and assists in creating appropriate interventions.

“What should I be mindful about when applying this information?”

This study does not clearly identify the inclusion criteria for infants or the qualifications of clinical “experts” in the grading of the Content Validity Index. The methods parents used for video recording and their input into the process are unclear. The authors suggest the use of computerized GMA analysis is possible, yet successful use of GMA in current practice relies on the overall “Gestalt” of trained human examiners. The GM trust also recommends advanced training for examiners involved in research.

Pediatric PTs should be prepared to support the use of the GMA as the standard of care for the identification of cerebral palsy in early intervention settings. For those who regularly see children in the critical 3- to 5-month age range, certification of the examiner is ideal. Even if not trained as an examiner, PTs should support parents to transmit videos confidentially to a GMA examiner for scoring and assist parents in follow-up to a medical specialist as needed.

Eileen Ricci, PT, DPT, MS, PCS

University of New England

Portland, Maine

Joanna Reidy

Parent of a child with atypical Rett syndrome

Maine LEND Program Family Trainee

University of New England

Portland, Maine

Copyright © 2020 Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy of the American Physical Therapy Association