Test-retest reliability of the functional mobility assessment (FMA): A pilot study

Amit Kumar, Mark R. Schmeler, Amol M. Karmarkar, Diane M. Collins, Rosemarie Cooper, Rory A. Cooper, Hyekyoung Shin, Margo B. Holm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Purpose: Functional mobility is necessary to perform activities of daily living and for community participation for everyone, but especially important for persons with disabilities (PWD). Therefore, functional mobility requires reliable measurement of consumer satisfaction and functional changes. The functional mobility assessment (FMA) instrument is a self-report outcomes tool designed to measure effectiveness of wheeled mobility and seating (WMS) interventions for PWD. This study examined the test-retest reliability of the FMA, and the stability of self-reported performance items. Method: A repeated-measures cohort study was conducted at the Center for Assistive Technology, at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Participants (n = 41) completed an initial FMA questionnaire, and were re-administered the questionnaire within 7-21 days of the first questionnaire completion. The study sample included 20 participants who were non-WMS users but in the process of being evaluated for a device and 21 participants who were existing WMS users. Intra-Class Correlation coefficients (ICC) were computed to determine agreement between the two scores. Results: Test-retest reliability scores for all items and participants were above the acceptable value for a clinical assessment tool (≥0.80). Responses on the FMA of Existing WMS users and non-WMS users did not differ significantly at test or retest. Conclusions: Results indicate that the FMA was a reliable and stable tool for assessing the functional performance of individuals who use or need WMS interventions. Implications for Rehabilitation The FMA is applicable to non-WMS and WMS users. The FMA fills a gap in mobility assessment tools because it is applicable to the total range of WMS devices. The FMA promotes collaboration between the consumer and the practitioner, yielding a better outcome for the consumer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-219
Number of pages7
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2013


  • Assistive device
  • Functional skills
  • Mobility
  • Outcomes measure
  • Reliability
  • Test-retest
  • Wheelchair

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Speech and Hearing


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