Pediatric Physical Therapy

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Pediatric Physical Therapy:
doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e3181575190
Research Report

The Effect of Aquatic Therapy on Functional Mobility of Infants and Toddlers in Early Intervention

McManus, Beth M. MSPT, MPH, PCS; Kotelchuck, Milton PhD, MPH

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Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of aquatic therapy (AT) as an adjunct to home-based early intervention (EI) on differences in children’s functional mobility.

Methods: Thirty-seven children of ages six to 30 months (x = 24.2; SD = 8.5) with delayed functional mobility participated in this study. The AT group (n = 15) received weekly AT in a community pool in addition to home-based EI with a physical therapist (PT) or occupational therapist (OT). A randomly selected comparison group (n = 22) received home-based EI with a PT or OT. Baseline and postintervention scores on the Gross Motor Subsection of the Mullen Scales of Early Learning were compared between the AT and comparison group.

Results: The AT group demonstrated significantly greater (p < 0.05) gains in functional mobility than the comparison group.

Conclusion: AT is a useful adjunct to EI to improve children’s functional mobility.

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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