Concurrent and predictive validity of the infant motor profile in infants at risk of neurodevelopmental disorders

Preterm infants and infants with perinatal brain injury possess an increased incidence of neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD). The Infant Motor Profile (IMP), a clinical assessment, is utilized to estimate the complexity of early motor behaviour. However, its predictive ability and concurrent validity with other common and valid assessments like the Alberta Infant Motor Scale (AIMS) and Prechtl’s General Movement Assessment (GMA) are yet to be confirmed by larger data.

The recent study thus-

  • evaluated the concurrent validity of the IMP with the AIMS 
  • investigated its association with the GMA, 
  • evaluated how the IMP reflects the severity of the brain injury, 
  • compared the ability of the IMP and the AIMS to predict an abnormal outcome in 5-month-old infants at risk of NDD.

The study retrospectively recruited 86 infants at risk of NDD. Preterm infants with or without perinatal brain injury and term infants with brain injury were evaluated at 3 months corrected age (CA) utilizing the GMA and at 5 months CA utilizing the IMP and the AIMS. The neurodevelopmental outcome was specified at 18 months.

The results were as follows-

  • A solid concurrent validity between the IMP Total Score and the AIMS and a significant association between IMP Total Score and the GMA was confirmed. 
  • Unlike the AIMS, the IMP Total score accurately reflected the severity of neonatal brain injury and was confirmed to be the strongest predictor of NDD. 
  • The comparison of areas under receiver operating characteristic curves (AUC) ensured the highest diagnostic accuracy of the IMP Total score at 5 months (AUC 0.92). 
  • The inspection showed high sensitivity (93%) and specificity (81%) (PPV 84%; NPV 90%) for an optimal IMP Total Score cut-off value of 70.

Thus, early motor behaviour evaluated with the IMP is strongly associated with middle-term neurodevelopmental outcomes. This study confirmed the concurrent validity of the IMP with the AIMS, its association with the GMA and its ability to reflect brain lesion load, hence donating to the construct validity of the assessment.

SOURCE= Rizzio R, Menisci V, Coin ML, et al. Concurrent and predictive validity of the infant motor profile in infants at risk of neurodevelopmental disorders. BMC Pediatric. 2021;21(1):68. Published 2021 Feb 6. doi:10.1186/s12887-021-02522-5

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