Wolf Motor Function Test (WMFT)


The original version of the Wolf Motor Function Test (WMFT) was designed by Dr. Steven L. Wolf, Emory University School of Medicine (Wolf, Lecraw, Barton & Jann, 1989). It has since been modified by researchers Taub, Blanton, & McCullough from the UAS CI Therapy Research Group. The modified version of the test has also been employed extensively with chronic patients who had suffered mild to moderate stroke (Taub, Miller, Novack, Cook, Fleming, Nepomuceno, Connell, & Crago, 1993; Taub, Crago, & Uswatte, 1998).


The inter-test and inter-rater reliability, and internal consistency and stability of the test is excellent for both the performance time and Functional Ability rating scale measures (FAS), ranging from .88 to .98, with most of the values being close to .95 (Morris, Uswatte, Crago, Cook, & Taub, 2001; Wolf, Catlin, Ellis, Link, Morgan, Piacentino, 2001.).

Author of Tool:

Wolf SL, Catlin PA, Ellis M, Link A, Morgan B, Piacento A.

Key references:

Fritz, S. L., Blanton, S., et al. (2009). “Minimal detectable change scores for the Wolf Motor Function Test.” Neurorehabil Neural Repair 23: 662-667.

Lang, C. E., Edwards, D. F., et al. (2008). “Estimating minimal clinically important differences of upper-extremity measures early after stroke.” Arch Phys Med Rehabil 89(9): 1693-1700.

Morris, D. M., Uswatte, G., et al. (2001). “The reliability of the wolf motor function test for assessing upper extremity function after stroke.” Arch Phys Med Rehabil 82: 750-755.

Whitall, J., Savin, D. N., Jr., et al. (2006). “Psychometric properties of a modified Wolf Motor Function test for people with mild and moderate upper-extremity hemiparesis.” Arch Phys Med Rehabil 87(5): 656-660.

Wing, K., Lynskey, J. V., et al. (2008). “Whole-body intensive rehabilitation is feasible and effective in chronic stroke survivors: a retrospective data analysis.” Top Stroke Rehabil 15(3): 247-255.

Wolf, S. L., Catlin, P. A., et al. (2001). “Assessing Wolf motor function test as outcome measure for research in patients after stroke.” Stroke 32: 1635-1639.

Primary use / Purpose:

The Wolf Motor Function Test (WMFT) is a quantitative index of upper extremity motor ability examinable through the use of timed and functional tasks. The WMFT has been posited as instructive for assessing the motor status of higher functioning chronic patients with stroke and traumatic brain injury, in terms of severity and upper extremity motor deficiency.