Measuring functional status and family support in older school-aged children with cerebral palsy: Comparison of three instruments

Melissa Azaula, Michael E. Msall, Germaine Buck, Michelle R. Tremont, Felicia Wilczenski, Brian T. Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Objective: To compare a pediatric and an adult version of a functional status measure and a family support measure for assessing school-age children with spastic cerebral palsy. Design: A prospective study involved functional status measurements using the Pediatric Functional Independence Measure (WeeFIM), the Adult Functional Independence Measure (FIM), and a family support measure, the Amount of Assistance Questionnaire (AAQ). Participants: The feasibility sample consisted of 47 children aged 2 to 12yrs with cerebral palsy. The study sample consisted of 20 children aged 7 to 16yrs with spastic cerebral palsy (50% diplegia, 50% quadriplegia). Interventions: Initial assessment interview included the WeeFIM, developmental milestones, educational achievement information, and the AAQ. Within 1 month, a follow-up phone interview using the FIM was completed. Main Outcome Measure: The WeeFIM and FIM measure independence in self-care, sphincter control, mobility, locomotion, communication, and social cognition. The AAQ measures the time and assistance required by a child in essential daily tasks. Results: Pearson's correlation coefficient exceeded .97 for WeeFIM and FIM total score in the total sample as well as in two subgroups of children: those with diplegia and quadriplegia. Total scores in WeeFIM and FIM as well as domain scores were significantly different between children with diplegia and quadriplegia. Parental amount of assistance on the AAQ was significantly correlated with WeeFIM and FIM scores. Conclusion: Either the WeeFIM or FIM can be used for monitoring functional status through adolescence in children with spastic cerebral palsy. Functional limitations are highly related to requirements for parental assistance. (C) 2000 by the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-311
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2000


  • Cerebral palsy
  • Functional assessment
  • Pediatric disability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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