Author(s): Palisano R, Rosenbaum P, Walter S, Russell D, Wood E
To address the need for a standardized system to classify the gross motor function of children with cerebral palsy, the authors developed a five-level classification system analogous to the staging and grading systems used in medicine. Nominal group process and Delphi survey consensus methods were used to examine content validity and revise the classification system until consensus among 48 experts (physical therapists, occupational therapists, and developmental pediatricians with expertise in cerebral palsy) was achieved. Interrater reliability (kappa) was 0.55 for children less than 2 years of age and 0.75 for children 2 to 12 years of age. The classification system has application for clinical practice, research, teaching, and administration.