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Diagnosis Dialog for Pediatric Physical Therapists: Hypotonia, Developmental Coordination Disorder, and Pediatric Obesity as Examples

Martin, Kathy S. PT, DHS; Westcott, Sarah McCoy, PT, PhD; Wrotniak, Brian H. PT, PhD

doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e31829ec53f
Special Communication

Purpose: To clarify what diagnosis means for pediatric physical therapists, to provide several examples of human movement dysfunction syndromes, and to offer guidance for how pediatric physical therapists may continue this work in any clinical setting.

Key points: The importance of diagnosis in pediatric physical therapy is presented along with examples of 3 different processes used to develop diagnostic labels. These processes included surveys to identify consensus opinion of clinicians, a literature review, and a combination of these 2. Hypotonia, developmental coordination disorder, and pediatric obesity are presented as examples.

Summary: The 3 diagnoses serve as a basis for ongoing dialogue, discussion, and development of diagnostic labels for human movement syndromes identified by pediatric physical therapists.

The importance of diagnosis in pediatric physical therapy is presented with examples of 3 processes used to develop diagnoses. The authors suggest ongoing development of diagnostic labels for human movement syndromes identified by pediatric physical therapists.

Krannert School of Physical Therapy (Dr Martin), University of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indiana; Department of Rehabilitation Medicine (Dr McCoy), University of Washington, Seattle, Washington; Department of Physical Therapy (Dr Wrotniak), D'Youville College, Buffalo, New York; Center for Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics (Dr Wrotniak), University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Department of Pediatrics (Dr Wrotniak), Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Kathy S Martin, PT, DHS, Krannert School of Physical Therapy, University of Indianapolis, 1400 E Hanna Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46227 (kmartin@uindy.edu).

Grant Support: This work was supported by the Section on Pediatrics.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

© 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins and the Section on Pediatrics of the American Physical Therapy Association.