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Res Dev Disabil. 2013 May;34(5):1731-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2013.02.003. Epub 2013 Mar 15.

Structural equation modeling of motor impairment, gross motor function, and the functional outcome in children with cerebral palsy.

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Department of Secondary Special Education, College of Education, Jeonju University, Jeonju, South Korea.


Physical therapy intervention for children with cerebral palsy (CP) is focused on reducing neurological impairments, improving strength, and preventing the development of secondary impairments in order to improve functional outcomes. However, relationship between motor impairments and functional outcome has not been proved definitely. This study confirmed the construct of motor impairment and performed structural equation modeling (SEM) between motor impairment, gross motor function, and functional outcomes of regarding activities of daily living in children with CP. 98 children (59 boys, 39 girls) with CP participated in this cross-sectional study. Mean age was 11 y 5 mo (SD 1 y 9 mo). The Manual Muscle Test (MMT), the Modified Ashworth Scale (MAS), range of motion (ROM) measurement, and the selective motor control (SMC) scale were used to assess motor impairments. Gross motor function and functional outcomes were measured using the Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM) and the Functional Skills domain of the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (PEDI) respectively. Measurement of motor impairment was consisted of strength, spasticity, ROM, and SMC. The construct of motor impairment was confirmed though an examination of a measurement model. The proposed SEM model showed good fit indices. Motor impairment effected gross motor function (β=-.0869). Gross motor function and motor impairment affected functional outcomes directly (β=0.890) and indirectly (β=-0.773) respectively. We confirmed that the construct of motor impairment consist of strength, spasticity, ROM, and SMC and it was identified through measurement model analysis. Functional outcomes are best predicted by gross motor function and motor impairments have indirect effects on functional outcomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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