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Pediatr Phys Ther. 2010 Fall;22(3):315-20. doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e3181ea8e52.

The gross motor function classification system: an update on impact and clinical utility.

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School of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada.



To examine the impact and utility of the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) for children with cerebral palsy (CP) in research and clinical settings through a scoping review of publications from July 2003 to December 2008.


An online literature search was performed to retrieve relevant abstracts for classification according to GMFCS use.


There has been a steadily increasing use of the GMFCS over the previous decade. Ongoing research was identified on the GMFCS measurement properties, as well as its use in validation of other tools. Observational and experimental studies continued to be the primary use of the GMFCS. Some studies discussed the GMFCS in clinical practice with respect to examination and evaluation.


The GMFCS is clearly established as a principal classification system for children with CP as demonstrated by excellent uptake in research; however, literature on its clinical use is emerging more slowly over time. More emphasis on the clinical utility of the GMFCS in the published literature would be helpful.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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