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Jornal de Pediatria
Print version ISSN 0021-7557
SACCANI, Raquel and VALENTINI, Nadia C.. Reference curves for the Brazilian Alberta Infant Motor Scale: percentiles for clinical description and follow-up over time. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2012, vol.88, n.1, pp.40-47. ISSN 0021-7557. http://dx.doi.org/10.2223/JPED.2142.
OBJECTIVES: To compare Alberta Infant Motor Scale scores for Brazilian infants with the Canadian norm and to construct sex-specific reference curves and percentiles for motor development for a Brazilian population. METHODS: This study recruited 795 children aged 0 to 18 months from a number of different towns in Brazil. Infants were assessed by an experienced researcher in a silent room using the Alberta Infant Motor Scale. Sex-specific percentiles (P5, P10, P25, P50, P75 and P90) were calculated and analyzed for each age in months from 0 to 18 months. RESULTS: No significant differences (p > 0.05) between boys and girls were observed for the majority of ages. The exception was 14 months, where the girls scored higher for overall motor performance (p = 0.015) and had a higher development percentile (0.021). It was observed that the development curves demonstrated a tendency to nonlinear development in both sexes and for both typical and atypical children. Variation in motor acquisition was minimal at the extremes of the age range: during the first two months of life and from 15 months onwards. CONCLUSIONS: Although the Alberta Infant Motor Scale is widely used in both research and clinical practice, it has certain limitations in terms of behavioral differentiation before 2 months and after 15 months. This reduced sensitivity at the extremes of the age range may be related to the number of motor items assessed at these ages and their difficulty. It is suggested that other screening instruments be employed for children over the age of 15 months.
Keywords : Assessment; motor skills; child development.