Skip to McMaster Navigation Skip to Site Navigation Skip to main content
McMaster logo

Copyright 16-002

Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM)

Cerebral palsy is a disorder that affects muscle tone, movement, and motor skills due to brain damage that occurs early in a child’s life.


The Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM) is a clinical tool designed to evaluate change in gross motor function in children with cerebral palsy from 5 months to 16 years old. The tool evaluates motor skills that are typical of normal developmental milestones and was developed by Drs. Dianne Russell, Peter Rosenbaum, Marilyn Wright, and Lisa Avery.

The GMFM should be administered in an environment that is comfortable for the child and has standard physiotherapy equipment (e.g. MET, bench, toys, stairs). There is a 4-point scoring system for each item on the GMFM. It was designed for use by pediatric therapists who are familiar with assessing motor skills in children.

There are two versions of the GMFM – the original 88-item measure (GMFM-88) and the shorter 66-item measure (GMFM-66). The GMFM-88 is valid for use with children who have cerebral palsy or Down syndrome. They both evaluate a range of skills including lying, rolling, walking, running and jumping. Although the GMFM-66 is comprised of a subset of the 88 items identified, it provides detailed information on the level of difficulty of each item thereby contributing much more information to assist with realistic goal setting. The GMFM-66 uses a computer program to convert scores and plot them on an interval scale of gross motor function as opposed to the ordinal scaling of the original GMFM-88. It is valid only for use with children with cerebral palsy.

Therapeutic Areas

  • Motor function in children with cerebral palsy


  • Academic studies
  • Evaluation use
  • Clinical trials Advantages


  • Available in 5+ languages
  • Secondary use for children with Down Syndrome (GMFM-88 ONLY)
  • Short version (GMFM-66) has online scoring system



MILO Business Development

Hamilton Health Sciences, St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton and McMaster University logos.