The Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) is an excellent way to classify CP because it is based on simple home administered tests that are Repeatable and Reproducible (Gauge R&R). This is extremely important for data collection, research and effective treatment.
GMFCS Classification Levels
- GMFCS Level I – walks without limitations.
- GMFCS Level II – walks with limitations. Limitations include walking long distances and balancing, but not as able as Level I to run or jump; may require use of mobility devices when first learning to walk, usually prior to age 4; and may rely on wheeled mobility equipment when outside of home for traveling long distances.
- GMFCS Level III – walks with adaptive equipment assistance. Requires hand-held mobility assistance to walk indoors, while utilizing wheeled mobility outdoors, in the community and at school; can sit on own or with limited external support; and has some independence in standing transfers.
- GMFCS Level IV – self-mobility with use of powered mobility assistance. Usually supported when sitting; self-mobility is limited; and likely to be transported in manual wheelchair or powered mobility.
- GMFCS Level V – severe head and trunk control limitations. Requires extensive use of assisted technology and physical assistance; and transported in a manual wheelchair, unless self-mobility can be achieved by learning to operate a powered wheelchair.
Obtaining a Copy of the Expanded and Revised GMFCS Classification System?
More information about the GMFCS Classification System is available at:
CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research website at McMaster University
A pdf of the GMFCS Classification System is made available at:
The GMFCS Classification System is provided by:
GMFCS – E & R © Robert Palisano, Peter Rosenbaum, Doreen Bartlett, Michael Livingston, 2007, CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research, McMaster University.
BRIGHT uses the GMFM as a crucial tool in it’s Cerebral Palsy Repository. The CP Repository is an on-line database that tracks birth history, causes , and effectiveness of treatments. The repository can be found here: The BRIGHT Cerebral Palsy Repository
BRIGHT’s on-line version of the GMFM automatically calculates the GMFM score and allows families to store their data anonymously. Click here for the on-line version of the GMFM Test
Image Credit: Cerebral Palsy Alliance – www.cerebralpalsy.org.au