FAQs

Is there a curve or graph that correlates well with the Ballard Score?

We used Dr. Lula Lubchenco's growth curves for both clinical care and research activities. read more

At what time frame is it best to perform a Ballard Assessment on an infant that was breech?

This is a very pertinent question, as the newborn who was frank breech (legs straight up) will have transient flexor fatigue in both the hamstrings and gluteus muscles. read more

Is there a standard for determining gestational age score that falls between the score sheet guidelines?

My exam total score is 27, which falls between the 25 and 30 point scores. Do I assign 34 weeks or 35 weeks, and why?.. read more

Which gestational age should be taken as correct if the known dates are different from the weeks by exam score?

The examination is, by validation studies, accurate within 2 weeks of known dates. Since maternal ovulation can vary over 10+ days.. read more

Is there a mathematical formula for calculating the score?

There is no mathematical formula to convert the score to weeks of gestation, since in the clinical arena, we are assessing the infant's achieved level of maturation, which is a continuum rather than a series of discrete data points. read more

Can the Ballard Score be used for assessing premature Infants?

The validity of the Ballard score was tested on newborn babies down to 20 weeks gestational age, verified by early ultrasound examination. read more

Why does the score increase as the square window angle actually decreases?

Although it seems counterintuitive, the square window which measures the angle to which the wrist can be flexed passively, does indeed DECREASE as maturation progresses. read more

When assessing a newborn with no arms or other deformities, how are the related sections scored?

This is an important question, since the same principle can be applied to a child born frank breech, with genu recurvatum, or with cryptorchidism. read more

Do most hospitals that you are familiar with keep the Ballard Score on paper, or are they entering the information into the computerized patient record?

Most of the hospitals I was familiar with before EMR's became the norm kept the gestational assessment form in the paper chart. read more

Where and when was the Ballard Score developed, and where was it published?

The assessment was developed at UC/CCHMC. It was published in the Journal of Pediatrics in the November issue, 1991.

What is the best timeframe to conduct the new ballard score assessment?

Our studies showed that, overall, the score was equally valid when performed anytime between... read more

Can we reprint the Ballard scoring sheet to teach third year medical students, or for our newborn nursery?

There is a downloadable PDF version of the scoresheet which can be used for printing hardcopies of the score sheet. Please visit the ScoreSheet page and click on the download PDF link at the bottom of the page.

References :
Ballard JL, Khoury JC, Wedig K, et al: New Ballard Score, expanded to include extremely premature
infants. J Pediatrics 1991; 119:417-423.

Neuromuscular Maturity

Physical Maturity