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Development of Guidelines for Determining Frequency of Therapy Services in a Pediatric Medical Setting

Bailes, Amy F. PT, MS, PCS; Reder, Rebecca OTR/L, OTD; Burch, Carol PT, DPT, MEd

doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e3181728a7b
Special Communication

Purpose: The purpose of this article is to describe guidelines for frequency of therapy services that were developed to help physical therapists and occupational therapists determine appropriate utilization of therapy services in a pediatric medical setting.

Description: The guidelines were developed for use by physical and occupational therapists when treating inpatients and outpatients at a large urban Midwest pediatric teaching hospital. Factors for consideration when determining frequency of therapy were adapted from the existing literature. Four modes of service delivery were developed; intensive (3 to 11 times a week), weekly or bimonthly (1 to 2 times a week to every other week), periodic (monthly or less often but at regularly scheduled intervals), and consultative (episodic or as needed). Descriptions are provided in a table format with factors to consider when making treatment frequency decisions.

Importance: These guidelines have been helpful to therapists in this medical setting when communicating therapy needs and goals to families and other professionals.

The authors describe how they developed 4 modes of treatment frequency and then illustrate how these modes can be used by describing their application to a case of a child with traumatic brain injury.

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio

Address correspondence to: Amy F. Bailes, PT, MS, PCS, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center Division of OT/PT MLC 4007, 3333 Burnet Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45229. E-mail:

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.