To examine the interrater agreement of the two gait performance measures - the Functional Mobility Scale (FMS) and Gillette Functional Assessment Questionnaire - walking scale (FAQ) - within health professionals and parents in children with neuromotor disorders, measured in an inpatient setting and at home.
Seventy-one children with a neuromotor diagnosis (44 males, 27 females; median age 12y 11mo [interquartile range 4y-10mo]) were consecutively recruited when starting an inpatient active gait rehabilitation programme. Physiotherapists and nurses independently scored the level of children's gait performance with the FMS and the FAQ, while parents' scores regarding the children's gait performance at home were obtained by interview or telephone call at the same measurement points.
Linear weighted kappa coefficients were substantial to almost perfect for all comparisons. Kappa coefficients ranged from 0.62 to 0.85 for the FMS-5, from 0.79 to 0.92 for the FMS-50, from 0.83 to 0.90 for the FMS-500, and from 0.69 to 0.77 for the FAQ. Friedman tests did not reveal significant differences between the different rater groups.
The unexpectedly high level of interrater agreement between parents, physiotherapists, and nurses demonstrates that the FMS and FAQ can reliably assess gait performance in an inpatient setting. Inpatient scores correspond well to the children's performance in their usual environment.
WHAT THIS PAPER ADDS:
The Functional Mobility Scale and Gillette Functional Assessment Questionnaire - walking scale measure gait performance reliably at home and in an inpatient setting. Physiotherapists, nurses, and parents reliably score gait performance. Inpatient gait performance scores correspond well to children's performance at home. Physiotherapists and nurses in an inpatient setting can reliably estimate gait performance at home.