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Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise:
B-24B Free Communication/Slide Pediatric Issues

EFFECTS OF AN AQUATIC THERAPY PROGRAM ON MOTOR DEVELOPMENT AND WATER ORIENTATION IN CHILDREN WITH HYPOTONIA

Avedisian, Lori1; Dellaratta, C1

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1Quinnipiac University

Aquatic therapy has been widely used as an alternative therapy in the treatment of children with neurological and developmental disorders. It has been reported to have positive effects on sensation, muscle tone, range of motion, strength, motor control, coordination, gait, balance, endurance, and function.

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PURPOSE

Was to examine the effects of aquatic therapy on function (gross motor development, water orientation, and swimming skills) in children with hypotonia.

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METHODS

Four children aged 36 to 60 months with diagnosed hypotonia participated in this study. Upon admission to the study, each child's gross motor development level, water orientation and swimming skills were assessed utilizing the Peabody Developmental Motor Scales (PDMS) and the Aquatic Orientation Checklist (AOC), respectively. Following this testing, aquatic therapy intervention was provided in a group setting on a weekly basis for 45-minute sessions for a seven week period.

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RESULTS

At the conclusion of the treatment period, each of the abilities was reassessed. Pre-treatment and post-treatment PDMS testing results were converted into age equivalent scores and scaled scores and were compared using a t-test. A t-test was also utilized to compare pre-test and post-test scores and percentage scores of the AOC. The results demonstrated a statistically significant difference between pre-test and post-test PDMS age equivalent scores, PDMS scaled scores, AOC raw scores and AOC percentage scores.

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CONCLUSIONS

These results support that this group aquatic therapy program had a beneficial effect in children with hytonia.

©2003The American College of Sports Medicine

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