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Eur J Paediatr Neurol. 2004;8(3):135-43.

Reliability and validity of a qualitative and quantitative motor test for 5- to 6-year-old children.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, University Hospital Maastricht, P.O. Box 5800, 6202 AZ Maastricht, The Netherlands.


Clumsiness in preschool children may be a precursor to impaired academic performance and psychological and developmental problems. It is assumed that in this age group especially the qualitative aspects (=pattern) of a movement reflect variations in motor development. Currently available motor tests for this age group, however, mostly objectify quantitative aspects of a movement alone and do not objectify qualitative aspects. The aim of this study was to develop a new, valid, and reliable tool (Maastricht's Motor Test (MMT)) to objectify qualitative and quantitative aspects of movement in 5- to 6-year-old children. The test covers Static Balance (14 items), Dynamic Balance (20 items), Ball Skills (eight items), and Diadochokinesis and Manual Dexterity (28 items). About 50% of the items measure qualitative aspects and 50% quantitative aspects of movements. In total 487 subjects were recruited from the first year of primary school. To validate the test, one school doctor's global judgment was used as a form of expert validity. Sensitivity and specificity were calculated for different cut-off points. Intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC) of inter-rater (N = 42), intra-rater (N = 24), and test-retest (N = 43) agreement were determined. ICCs of the qualitative total score ranged from 0.61 to 0.95 and were comparable with those of the total quantitative score. The MMT can be used to objectify both qualitative and quantitative aspects of movements. The additional value of the qualitative observations has to be determined in children with various developmental problems.

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