Freya is a 6-year-old girl with ataxic cerebral palsy. She moved to California from Iowa last month and has been prescribed six months of physical therapy. Freya’s parents are concerned; she has been having difficulty going down the front stairs of their new home. As her physical therapist, do I have a standardized test that will measure her initial gross motor function? In six months, how will I determine whether Freya has made statistically significant progress?
My Gross Motor Function Measure User’s Manual is tattered. I could not work without the GMFM! Like all things that are well designed, the creators have taken a complex concept and made it logical and simple. The GMFM is an evaluative measure that assesses change in motor function over time. I can test Freya in January, provide PT 1x/week and then retest in July to determine if she has made significant progress. In addition, I won’t overlook Freya’s inability to reach across midline while I am heavily focused on her stair skills; the test covers all domains from lying and rolling up to running and jumping, with each skill being incrementally harder than the last. Continue reading “How to Use the Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM-66)”