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Use of the Gross Motor Function Classification System

Lisa Kenyon, PT, DPT, PhD, PCS

June 20, 2012

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Question

Could the GMFCS be used to help determine if an invasive surgical procedure should be tried?

Answer

Typically we don't think of the GMFCS as anything more than a classification system. To my knowledge, we are not using the GMFCS to help determine the need for surgical procedures. We are using it merely as a classification tool.  It describes the child's function at that moment, not their future abilities or capabilities or their maximal performance.  It looks at their exact level at that one point in time that we assess using the tool.  I know there have been studies that use the GMFCS as an outcome measure. The developer of the tool, Dr. Rosenbaum, has come out with some statements saying that [outcome measures] aren't what the tool was meant to be used for.  The tool was meant to classify function, not be used as an outcome measure. It's a tool more than a test. 


lisa kenyon

Lisa Kenyon, PT, DPT, PhD, PCS

Dr. Kenyon is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Dr. Kenyon heads the Grand Valley Power Mobility Project, an inter-professional research, and service project that provides power mobility training for children and young adults who are not typically considered to be candidates for power mobility use.  Dr. Kenyon presents nationally and internationally on topics related to pediatric physical therapist practice and has published multiple journal articles and book chapters pertaining to topics in pediatrics.  Dr. Kenyon currently serves on the Committee of Content Experts for the Pediatric Specialty Council of the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties.


Related Courses

Power to Go: Meeting the Needs of Pediatric Power Mobility Learners
Presented by Lisa Kenyon, PT, DPT, PhD, PCS
Recorded Webinar

Presenter

Lisa Kenyon, PT, DPT, PhD, PCS
Course: #3615Level: Introductory2 Hours
  'I enjoyed learning about the different types of Power Mobility training learners'   Read Reviews
Recent research identifies three different groups of pediatric power mobility learners. Clinically-based intervention strategies, including tools to monitor intervention outcomes, to meet the specific learning needs of children in each power mobility group will be presented and discussed. This course is directly related to the practice of physical therapy and is therefore appropriate for the PT/PTA.

Tools You Can Use: Enhancing Outcomes Assessment in Children with Cerebral Palsy
Presented by Lisa Kenyon, PT, DPT, PhD, PCS
Recorded Webinar

Presenter

Lisa Kenyon, PT, DPT, PhD, PCS
Course: #3616Level: Intermediate2 Hours
  'Organized efficiently and conducive for learning'   Read Reviews
This session will focus on outcome measures reflecting the various domains of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) that can be used with children who have cerebral palsy. Guidelines related to the use and application of these various tools will be presented and discussed whilst case scenarios and vignettes will be used to illustrate the application of these evidence-based tools to pediatric practice. This course is directly related to the practice of physical therapy and is therefore appropriate for the PT/PTA.

What Are We Waiting For? The Power of Early Mobility
Presented by Lisa Kenyon, PT, DPT, PhD, PCS
Recorded Webinar

Presenter

Lisa Kenyon, PT, DPT, PhD, PCS
Course: #3196Level: Advanced2 Hours
  'I may apply the learning info into my practice right away'   Read Reviews
This course summarizes the benefits of providing early mobility experiences for infants and toddlers who have mobility delays. Concepts related to introducing power mobility, developing a power mobility training plan, and using outcome measures to assess the impact of power mobility will be presented and discussed. This course is directly related to the practice of physical therapy and is therefore appropriate for the PT and PTA.

Application of the ICF to the Provision of School-based Physical Therapy Services
Presented by Lisa Kenyon, PT, DPT, PhD, PCS
Recorded Webinar

Presenter

Lisa Kenyon, PT, DPT, PhD, PCS
Course: #3507Level: Advanced2 Hours
  'Comprehensive overview of ICF model and application to school-based practice including importance of developing goals and objectives related to activity and participation'   Read Reviews
This course provides an overview of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) as it relates to children and youth. Use of concepts within the ICF to enhance the provision of school-based physical therapy services will be presented and discussed. This course is directly related to the practice of physical therapy and is therefore appropriate for the PT/PTA.

Pre-Gait and Gait Interventions to Improve Function in Children With Cerebral Palsy
Presented by Lisa Kenyon, PT, DPT, PhD, PCS
Recorded Webinar

Presenter

Lisa Kenyon, PT, DPT, PhD, PCS
Course: #3816Level: Introductory2 Hours
  'organized and great intervention examples'   Read Reviews
This course provides an overview of gait issues and concerns in children with cerebral palsy as well as evidence-based pre-gait and gait interventions to address these issues, including use of handling and facilitation techniques, environmental adaptation, and motor control interventions. Outcome measures designed to assess gait in children who have CP will also be presented and discussed. This course is directly related to the practice of physical therapy and is therefore appropriate for the PT/PTA.

Editor's Note: Regarding Pennsylvania credits, this course is approved by the PA State Board of Physical Therapy for 1 hour of general and 1 hour of Direct Access CE credit.

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