GMFM Administration

GMFM Score Sheets

GMFM score sheets for all versions are available with open access for download and printing for personal, non-commercial use , please click here to be redirected to the appropriate page.

Time to administer

Administering the GMFM-88 takes approximately 45 t0 60 minutes for someone familiar with the measure. Time will vary depending on the ability level of the child and the child’s level of cooperation and understanding. The GMFM-66 should take less time to administer as there are fewer items and allows for not-tested items. The abbreviated versions, the Item Set and Basal & Ceiling methods, take approximately 20 to 30 minutes to administer.

It is possible to obtain a GMFM-66 score without testing all the items. This reduces the testing burden on children, families, and therapists. Research has shown that a score can be obtained with as few as 13 items. Although it is tempting to assess the minimum number of items, the agreement between the true score and estimated score increases with the number of items tested. Children should be encouraged to attempt as many items as possible to ensure the most accurate score is achieved. If a subset of items is administered, it is important to test items around the child’s current ability level where there is variation in scores of 0, 1, 2, and 3. For example, if a child is scoring all ‘0’s or all ‘3’s on the items tested, there will not be enough information about the child’s abilities and limitations to determine a good estimate of their ability.

Qualifications to administer and score the GMFM

The GMFM was designed for use by pediatric therapists who are familiar with assessing motor skills in children and children with cerebral palsy. Users should familiarize themselves with the GMFM administration and scoring guidelines and the score sheets prior to assessing children. A GMFM Training Video is available from the CanChild store (link to store coming soon).

It may be helpful to practice on several children with and without motor disabilities prior to using it for clinical or research assessments. It is recommended that users assess their reliability with other therapists familiar with the measure to point out inconsistencies requiring clarification prior to using it.

Equipment and Space

The required equipment is available in most physiotherapy facilities e.g. mats, benches, toys. Details are included in the GMFM Manual. Access to stairs with at least five steps is required if testing stair items.

The GMFM should be administered in an environment that is comfortable for the child and large enough to allow children to move freely. Space for a 4.5 meter run is necessary for the running item. The floor should have a smooth, firm surface.

There are no specific guidelines for use in home or community settings. Any modification to testing in these environments should be as close as possible to the recommended equipment and space. Any differences should be documented to ensure consistency for measuring change over time.

Frequency of Administration

There are no specific guidelines about frequency of administration. Considerations include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Age (consider more frequent evaluations for younger children).
  2. Type and intensity of intervention over a specified period of time (pre- and post- evaluations around interventions that are expected to make a difference).
  3.  Estimated amount of time that the child will required to learn a gross motor skill(s).
  4. Concurrent health status (evaluation around the time the child experiences other health concerns to establish to establish the impact on gross motor function).
  5. A facility’s administrative requirement for regular evaluation or lack of resources to provide regular evaluation.

6. Responsiveness of the GMFM-66 (Overall, the responsiveness of the GMFM-66 has been shown to be similar to that of the GMFM-88 over 6 and 12 months, however the GMFM-66 is more sensitive to change at the extremes of the scale (i.e. for those children scoring very low and those scoring very high) and probably less than the GMFM-88 for those children functioning in the middle of the scale.