Thrasher Research Fund - Medical research grants to improve the lives of children

Project Details

Early Career

Status: Funded - Open

Analysis of Psychometric Properties of a Novel Pediatric Stroke Motor Impairment Measure (PSMIM)

Laura Malone, MD, PhD


BACKGROUND: The Fugl-Meyer and other adult-based motor impairment assessments are not developmentally appropriate for children and the available pediatric tools have limitations (e.g. not sensitive enough, cannot be used longitudinally throughout childhood). Without adequate motor impairment assessment tools (both upper and lower extremity) for children with stroke, we are left with a significant gap in knowledge regarding how the motor system recovers after early brain injury and how various rehabilitation treatment affect motor outcomes. GAP: We have designed an innovative, novel, brief, observation-based motor impairment measure that can be used longitudinally throughout childhood and assesses both upper and lower extremity function in children after stroke, which will enable more rigorous evaluation of recovery and treatment responses to therapies for children with stroke and potentially other causes of motor impairments (e.g. cerebral palsy from other causes such as prematurity). HYPOTHESIS: We hypothesize that internal consistency (measured with Cronbach’s alpha) will be >0.80, (suggesting strong reliability) and intra-class correlations (inter-rater reliability) values >0.6 (reflecting good reliability). With a significance value of 0.05, we expect a large difference (d>1.5) between children with stroke and healthy children (criterion validity). We expect moderate to strong associations (r=0.5-0.9) in construct validity with Pearson’s correlations of the PSMIM against a battery of accepted measure of stroke. METHODS: We will complete a single center case-control study comparing children with stroke with controls while assessing performance of our novel measure against a battery of assessment tools in the children with stroke. RESULTS: Pending IMPACT: An impairment assessment that is reliable, valid, sensitive to change, and standardized will enable more rigorous evaluation of recovery and therapeutic treatment responses for children with stroke. Website Link:


Supervising Institution:
Kennedy Krieger Institute

Stacy Suskauer

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