COSMIN database

Systematic review of field-based physical fitness tests for children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities

Wouters, M., Evenhuis, H. M., and Hilgenkamp, T. I.
BACKGROUND: Testing physical fitness in children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities (ID) can be challenging. This review provides an overview on psychometric properties of field-based physical fitness tests studied in children and adolescents with ID.

METHODS: A literature search was performed in March 2014. Studies were included if they evaluated feasibility, reliability and/or validity of a field-based physical fitness test in children and adolescents with ID.

RESULTS: Twenty-six papers met the inclusion criteria and described 18 tests on body composition (4), muscular strength (4), muscular endurance (6), and cardiorespiratory fitness (4). Best results on feasibility, reliability and/or validity were found for bioelectric impedance analysis, body mass index, grip strength, arm hang and distance run/walk tests. These results were mainly found in adolescents with mild to moderate ID.

CONCLUSION: Some tests were found feasible, reliable and/or valid in subgroups of children and adolescents with ID, but not in children and adolescents with all ages and levels of ID. Further assessment is needed before wider application in all children and adolescents with ID.
Res Dev Disabil
Publication year:
Biological and physiological variables:
Biological and physiological variables
Symptom status:
Physical state
Functional status:
Physical functioning
Children (0-18)
Certain conditions originating in the perinatal period and related symptoms
Diseases of and symptoms related to the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue
Mental and behavioural disorders and related symptoms
PRO / non-PRO:
Non-patient Reported Outcome
Type of measurement instrument:
4 - Performance-based tests
6 - Clinical rating scales
9 - Laboratory tests
Arm hang (versions: Bent-arm hang)
bench press
BIA - Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis
BMI - Body Mass Index [alias: QI - Quetelet Index]   
Distance walk/run test (versions: 0.25 mile; 0.5 mile; 1.5 mile; 2 mile; 3 mile; 600m; 1000m; 3000m; 5000m; 600 yard)
Dumbbell (press)
Grip strength
HHD - Hand-Held Dynamometer (Hand-held dynamometry with pulley force sensor)   
Pull-up - Muscle endurance (versions: modified)
Push-ups (versions: single partial; repeated partial; Isometric; wall push-up; modified)
SFT - SkinFold Thickness
Shuttle run tests (versions: triple 120m; 300m; 10x5)   
Sit-up (versions: Muscle endurance; 60s)
Small ball throw
Standing long jump
Step test
Timed walk/run test (versions: 9 minute - 9MinWT/9MWT; 15MinWT - 15 minute -15MWT)
Waist circumference