AIM The Infant Motor Profile (IMP) is a novel qualitative assessment of motor behaviour in infancy. The aim of this study was to determine whether IMP scores throughout infancy differ between children with and without cerebral palsy (CP) at 18 months. Furthermore, we evaluated the predictive ability of IMP scores throughout infancy for CP.
METHOD Fifty-nine preterm (median gestational age 29.7wk, median birthweight 1285g) and 30 term infants (median gestational age 40.1wk, median birthweight 3588g) were included. IMP assessments were longitudinally performed at (corrected) ages of 4, 6, 10, and 12 months. Neurological outcome was determined at 18 months with the neurological examination according to Hempel. We compared total and domain IMP scores throughout infancy between infants with and without CP.
RESULTS In the term group none of the children was diagnosed with CP at the age of 18 months, in the preterm group eight had CP at 18 months (14%). Three had unilateral spastic CP, and five bilateral spastic CP. Children with CP (n=8) at 18 months had lower IMP scores throughout infancy than children without. These differences were most pronounced for the domains variation and performance. The predictive ability of the total IMP scores throughout infancy for CP was high (area under receiver operating characteristic curve 0.89-0.99) and most pronounced for the variation and performance domains.
INTERPRETATION IMP scores throughout infancy and CP at 18 months are strongly related. In particular, low scores on the variation and performance domains were important indicators for CP. To determine the exact predictive ability of the IMP, further research is needed.