Does the assessment of general movements without video observation reliably predict neurological outcome?

Andrea Guzzetta, Vittorio Belmonti, Roberta Battini, Antonio Boldrini, Paola Bruna Paolicelli, Giovanni Cioni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To assess the clinical value of a modified version, not employing video recording, of Precthl's method on the qualitative assessment of general movements (GMs) in preterm, term and young infants at neurological risk. Materials and methods: One-hundred and fifteen infants consecutively enrolled in our follow-up program were selected for the study (103 preterm and 12 term infants). While being video recorded, each infant's spontaneous motor activity was directly observed and documented using a written proforma. An evaluation of the video was later performed by a different assessor blind to the infant's clinical history. Results: The correlation between the two techniques was significant both at writhing age (birth to 6 weeks post-term age) and at fidgety age (9-15 weeks post-term age). Both methods showed a very high sensitivity for the prediction of cerebral palsy, as no false negatives were observed. The direct assessment showed a lower specificity, particularly during the writhing period. Conclusions: These results support the use of the direct assessment of GMs when the full application of the standard video observation cannot be routinely applied, restraining the use of video recordings to the abnormal or doubtful cases. This may facilitate the wished integration of the assessment of spontaneous motility into more general protocols of neurological examination and into clinical follow-up programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)362-367
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Paediatric Neurology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2007


  • Cerebral palsy
  • Infant
  • Neurological assessment
  • Newborn
  • Spontaneous motility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neurology


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