Test of Infant Motor Performance (TIMP)

Posted on: March 12, 2015 | By: npederzolli | Filed under: Test of Infant Motor Performance (TIMP)

Descriptive Information:

  1. Title: Test of Infant Motor Performance (TIMP)
  2. Author: Gay Girolami , PT, PhD, C/NDT
  3. Source: www.thetimp.com
  4. Cost: 2 day workshops aerage cost are 350-400$
  5. Purpose:  Identifies infants that are high risk for poor motor performance.  Also is able to show change in motor performance over time.
  6. Type of Test: test is an assessment of the posture and movement skills needed by infants for daily life activities.
  7. Target Population/Ages: 34 weeks postconceptional age through 4 months post term
  8. Time Requirements: Unspecified


Test Administration:

  1. Administration: Testing reviews a total of 42 items. 13 items are observed during a period of spontaneous activity. 5 items on the test are all related to head control in supported sitting. The following series of items examine postural control in the supine position. There is also a series of prone items that can be evaluated together. The remaining items to be evaluated focus on righting reactions during tilting and sidelying as well as postural control in standing.
  2. Scoring: Correct scoring is explained during workshops.
  3. Type of information, resulting from testing: 
    • discriminate among infants with varying degrees of risk for poor motor outcome based on perinatal medical condition
    •  be sensitive to the effects of physical therapy provided to high risk infants in the special care nursery or home exercise programs offered to premature infants post-hospital discharge
  4. Environmnt for Testing: The TIMP can be used both in special care nursery settings and in early intervention programs.
  5. Equipment and Materials Needed: Testing forms and pen
  6. Examiner Qualifications: The test must be administered by those with experience in the TIMP attained by workshops.
  7. Psychometric Characteristics:  The test-retest reliability for 116 pairs of tests of r = .89 over 3 days; no significant difference between testers.
  8. Standardization data: Diagnose motor developmental delay from 34 weeks postconceptional age through 4 months post term based on age standards developed from a sample of 990 U.S. infants of all races/ethnicities
  9. Predictive/Discriminative: Predicts 12-month motor performance with sensitivity 92% and specificity 76% and preschool motor performance with sensitivity 72% and specificity 91% at 3 months of age.


Summary Comments

Strengths: Provides valuable predictive information on motor development of age group tested and sensitive to show effects of physical therapy provided to high risk infants in the special care nursery.

Weaknesses: Requires expensive training workshops in order to be administered.

Clinical Applications: Along with identifying infants that are high risk for poor motor performance and showing progress with motor performance over time, This test can also be used to plan and assess outcomes of intervention for babies with low scores



  • Barbosa VM, Campbell SK, Sheftel D, Singh J, Beligere N. Longitudinal performance of infants with cerebral palsy on the Test of Infant Motor Performance and on the Alberta Infant Motor Scale. Phys Occup Ther in Pediatr. 2003;23(3):7-29.
  • Campbell SK. Test-retest reliability of the Test of Infant Motor Performance. Pediatr Phys Ther. 1999;11:60-66
  • Campbell SK, Kolobe THA, Wright B, Linacre JM. Validity of the Test of Infant Motor Performance for prediction of 6-, 9-, and 12-month scores on the Alberta Infant Motor Scale. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2002;44:263-272
  • Langkamp DL, Harris SR. Predicting preschool motor and cognitive performance in appropriate for gestational age children born at <32 weeks’ gestation. Early Development and Parenting. 1992;1:89-96.
  • Washington KA, Harris SR.  Mental and motor development of low birth-weight infants with normal developmental outcomes.  Pediatric Physical Therapy. 1989;1:159-165.
  • Guimaraes CLN, Reinaux CM, Botelho ACG, Lima GMS, Cabral Filho JE. Motor development evaluated by Test of Infant Motor Performance: Comparison between preterm and full-term infants. Rev Bras Fisioter, Sao Carlos 2011;15 (5):357-362.
  • Nobel Y, Boyd R. Neonatal assessments for the preterm infant up to 4 months corrected age: A systematic review. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2012 Feb;54(2):129-39.


 Article utilizing the Test of Infant Motor Performance (TIMP)

Lee H-M, Galloway JC. Early intensive postural and movement training advances head control in very young infants. Phys Ther 2012;92:935-947.

The purpose of the study was to determine the effects of the postural and movement experiences on the head control through measurement with the test of infant motor performance beginning when infants were 1 month old.

The population consisted of 22 full-term 1 month old infants with no known sensory or motor impairments. The patients were randomly selected to training group or control group. The training group consisted of 6 males and 5 females. They were provided at least 20 minutes of daily postural training, requiring increased use of neck, shoulder girdle, and trunk muscles, and movement training, requiring increased use of arm movements for reaching. The caretakers of treatment group were also encouraged to use a front carrier (i.e. BabyBjörn) for at least 20 minutes per day. The control group consisted of 8 males and 3 females. They were provided social interaction from the care giver as they werein a supine position. Caretakers provided visual and verbal contact, but no physical contact of the infant nor the use of toys was allowed. Each session lasted for at least 20 minutes per day over a 4 week period. Testing was performed every other week from the 1 to 4 months of age.

Following analysis of the the results, it was shown that the training group had higher TIMP scores on head control–related items during the training period and after training stopped compared with the control group. After conclusion of treatment, the treatment group infants actively moved their heads forward more often and for further distances.

The author concluded that young infants can benefit from postural and movement experiences to rapidly enhance their head control as early as 4 to 6 weeks of postnatal life.  The author also concluded that improvement in TIMP scores and increase head mobility and head control was the result of infant positioning, caregiver handling, and caregiver-infant interactions.


3 responses to “Test of Infant Motor Performance (TIMP)”

  1. gpulliam says:

    In searching for my test and measure, the TIME, I often ran across research involving the TIMP. I find it so interesting that they are both used for the evaluation of mobility in infants and change over time, as well as both being rather expensive to invest in. I know people need to make their way in life, but it would seem to me that if the overall health and well-being of the pediatric population is at the forefront, the authors of some of the tests and measures available should endeavor to make the tools more cost-effective and accessible to practitioners.

  2. I so appreciate your concern about costs for learning the wonderful infant tests that are available today. I am the manager of IMPS, LLC, which distributes the TIMP and offers workshops. I would like to note that when we give workshops it is the local organizers who determine the cost. We charge a flat fee which can usually be covered with about 20-25 participants. One can also learn through self-instruction using an $85 DVD. That said, we are working on trying to find easier ways for people to learn the TIMP which includes the planning of an online training program that we expect to be available in 2016. There will still be a charge as our investment to make this happen will be more than $20,000 plus many many hours of donated time on the part of testers and instructors, but will allow learning at home and hence no travel costs. Thanks for your comment.

  3. sneha divekar says:

    Im from India where no such training workshops are conducted,would like to know if self instructional DVD will help.

Leave a Reply