Gross Motor Function Measure-88 (GMFM-88)

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  • Russell DJ; Rosenbaum PL; Cadman DT; Gowland C; Hardy S; Jarvis S.
  • from CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research, Institute for Applied Health Sciences, McMaster University
  •  First published in 1989.

Objectives and Population intended

The Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM) is an observational clinical tool designed to evaluate change in gross motor function in children with cerebral palsy (CP) ,aged between 5 months to 16 years.

Although the GMFM-88 has been developed for children with CP, it is also validated for other populations, such as children with Down Syndrome and acquired brain damage. 

GMFM Scores

The scoring system of the GMFM is a four-point scale that consists of 88 items (or 66 items in GMFM-66) divided into five dimensions of gross motor function:

  • (a) lying and rolling, 
  • (b) sitting, 
  • (c) crawling and kneeling, 
  • (d) standing, and 
  • (e) walking, running and jumping. 

A 5-year old child without motor disabilities is able to reach the maximum score .

Time Administer

Administering the GMFM-88 may take approximately 45 to 60 minutes for someone familiar with the measure, depending on the skill of the assessor, the ability of the child and the child’s level of cooperation and understanding. 

Equipment Needed

Physiotherapy gym (e.g mat, bench, toys).Access to stairs (with at least 5 steps) is also necessary .


There are two versions of the GMFM – the original 88-item measure (GMFM-88) and 66-item GMFM (GMFM-66).

Use the following EVALUATION FORM to evaluate your patient and PRINT THE FORM when the evaluation is completed.


  • Russell DJ, Rosenbaum PL, Cadman DT, Gowland C, Hardy S, Jarvis S. The gross motor function measure: a means to evaluate the effects of physical therapy. Dev Med Child Neurol. 1989 Jun;31(3):341-52 (PubMed abstract)
  • Russell D, Palisano R, Walter S, Rosenbaum P, Gemus M, Gowland C, Galuppi B, Lane M. Evaluating motor function in children with Down syndrome: validity of the GMFM. Dev Med Child Neurol. 1998 Oct;40(10):693-701.(PubMed abstract)
  • Russell DJ. Avery LM. Rosenbaum PL. Raina PS. Walter SD. Palisano RJ. Improved Scaling of the Gross Motor Function Measure for Children With Cerebral Palsy : Evidence of Reliability and Validity. Physical Therapy. 2000. 80(9), 873-885 (PubMed abstract)
  • Russell DJ, Rosenbaum PL, Avery LM, Lane M. Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM-66 and GMFM-88) User’s Manual, 2nd Edition. London, United Kingdom: Mac Keith Press. 2013

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