Pediatric Physical Therapy

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Pediatric Physical Therapy:
Research Report

Relationships of Equipment Use and Play Positions to Motor Development at Eight Months Corrected Age of Infants Born Preterm

Bartlett, Doreen J. PT, PhD; Kneale Fanning, Jamie E. MClSc

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Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between both use of infant equipment and play positions and motor development of infants born preterm who were classified as high risk. Subjects were 60 parent-infant dyads attending a developmental follow-up clinic.

Methods: Parents reported the duration of infant equipment use and the predominant positions in which their infants played in the previous month. Infants were assessed using the Alberta Infant Motor Scale (AIMS).

Results: Equipment use was not related to motor development; however, the duration of carrying was negatively related to the sit subscale of the AIMS (r = −0.31, p < 0.05). As a group, the infants in this sample spent more time in the relatively less active play positions of sitting and supine than in the positions of prone and standing.

Conclusions: Therapists should consider the use of equipment and specific play positions to enhance motor development of infants born preterm and work with parents to promote an understanding of the importance of providing their infants with opportunities to develop early motor competencies.

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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