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What Do Physios Measure when Assessing your Child?

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Paediatric physiotherapists should use outcome measures individually selected for each child they treat to measure the child’s progress and guide treatment goal setting.

Here is a list of some of the common outcome measures used in paediatric physiotherapy:

  • Gross Motor Function Measure (designed to assess change in gross motor function for children with Cerebral Palsy and Down Syndrome)
  • 6 minute walk test, 1 minute walk test and 10 Meter walk test (to measure exercise capability)
  • Timed Up and Go Test (to assess mobility and balance)
  • Alberta Infant Motor Scale (an observational assessment scale to assess gross motor skills)
  • Movement Battery for Assessment of Children (to indicate problems or delays in motor development)

Your physiotherapist will set functional, attainable goals with you and your child which are specific to your child and their stage of development.  It is also important that a suitable outcome measure is used (if appropriate) to help measure progress and identify a baseline of your child’s motor function.  Outcome Measures are also used by Occupational and Speech and Language Therapists to assess progress.

There are also impairment based outcome measures measuring muscle strength, tone and joint range of motion such as:

  • Modified Ashworth Scale (to assess muscle tone)
  • Oxford Scale (to assess muscle strength)
  • Goniometry (to measure joint ranges)
  • Selective Control Assessment of the Lower Extremity or SCALE (to assess voluntary movement control)
  • Tardieu Scale of Spasticity (to measure muscle spasticity)


Outcome measures in all areas of physiotherapy are endorsed by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, as “standardised validated clinical outcome measures sit within a suite of different types of tools and indicators used to measure the quality of provision of patient care” (

Are you looking for a specialist pediatric physiotherapist to set goals with you and your child?  We are able to see your child at home and can often arrange an appointment within 24 hours.  Contact us today on 0207 884 0374 or email