Pediatric Physical Therapy

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Pediatric Physical Therapy:
doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e318235257c
Research Articles

Pediatric Physical Therapists' Use of Support Walkers for Children With Disabilities: A Nationwide Survey

Low, Sheryl A. PT, DPT, DSc, MPH, PCS; McCoy, Sarah Westcott PT, PhD; Beling, Janna PT, PhD; Adams, Janet PT, MS

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Abstract

Purpose: This study investigated pediatric physical therapists' use of support walkers (SWs) for children with disabilities.

Methods: An 8-page survey was mailed to 2500 randomly selected members of the Section on Pediatrics of the American Physical Therapy Association. Respondents to the survey included 513 pediatric physical therapists who were users of SWs. Descriptive statistics were calculated and themes were analyzed.

Results: Several SWs were reported as used most often to improve gait, mobility, participation at school, and interaction with peers. Use commonly included a month trial before purchase and 9 sessions of physical therapy to train a child for use in school. Reasons given for the use of SWs were improving impairments, functional limitations, and participation with peers.

Conclusions: Pediatric physical therapists use SWs to increase postural control, mobility, and children's participation in school.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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