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Pediatr Phys Ther. 2014 Fall;26(3):332-7. doi: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000062.

Measuring postural stability in young children with cerebral palsy: a comparison of 2 instruments.

Author information

Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Program (Ms Randall), and School of Physical Therapy (Dr Bartlett), Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada; CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research (Dr Bartlett), McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; Department of Rehabilitation Medicine (Dr Westcott), Division of Physical Therapy, University of Washington, Seattle.



To compare construct validity, interrater and test-retest reliabilities of the Pediatric Reach Test and the Early Clinical Assessment of Balance (ECAB), and their relationships with the Gross Motor Function Measure, 66-item version, Basal and Ceiling approach (GMFM-66-B&C) to appraise clinical utility of postural stability measures for children with cerebral palsy (CP).


A total of 28 children with CP, 2 to 7 years old, across all functional ability levels participated in 2 assessments over 2 weeks. Two assessors scored the measures during the first assessment.


Both measures demonstrated construct validity, rs of 0.88 (P < .001). Both measures correlated with GMFM-66-B&C, rs > 0.95. Interrater and test-retest reliabilities were stronger for the ECAB than for the Pediatric Reach Test (intraclass correlation coefficients > 0.98 vs 0.87-0.94). The ECAB demonstrated lower measurement error and proportionately smaller minimal detectable change values.


The ECAB is considered the better measure of postural stability among children with CP.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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