Functional independence measure (WeeFIM) reference values in Indian children aged 3-7 years: A cross-sectional study

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National Medical Journal of India


Background. We sought to establish reference values of the functional independence measure (WeeFIM; Unified Data System for Medical Rehabilitation, Buffalo, NY, USA) for children aged 3-7 years in India using this cross-sectional study. Methods. We obtained permission from the Unified Data System for Medical Rehabilitation, a non-profit organization to use the WeeFIM instrument. Participants were recruited randomly from schools. After obtaining written informed consent, direct interviews for WeeFIM II Clinical Guide (version 6.0) were conducted for parent/guardian/teacher of 182 typically developing children. Results. There was a progressive increase of functional independence with increasing chronological age across all WeeFIM domains. Total score of the WeeFIM instrument showed a similar performance between boys and girls. At the beginning of 3 years, children were at WeeFIM level 3 that is moderate assistance stage in their functional independence, but by the age of 7 years, they became completely independent on all the three domains of WeeFIM functional scale. Conclusions. We have provided reference values for WeeFIM in children of India aged 3-7 years (35-84 months). There were no differences between boys and girls regarding WeeFIM performance. Children in private schools showed better performance versus children in government schools in the early age ranges. We could not find any effect of socioeconomic status on WeeFIM raw rating or functional independence level.

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