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Physical Therapy Dosing: Frequency and Type of Intervention in Pediatric Postacute Hospital Care

Dumas, Helene M. PT, DPT, MS; Fragala-Pinkham, Maria A. PT, DPT, MS; Rosen, Elaine L. PT, MPA/H; Folmar, Eric PT, DPT, OCS, CKTP

doi: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000339
Research Reports

Purpose: To examine differences in physical therapy dosing frequency recommendations based on children's characteristics and to describe types of intervention recommended at postacute hospital admission.

Methods: Demographic and clinical information, recommended physical therapy intervention frequency, and intervention types were collected for all admissions from April 1, 2015, to March 1, 2016. Differences across 2 groups, children with recommendations for “less” (≤3x/wk) or “more” (≥4x/wk) frequent therapy, were examined. Types of interventions recommended were described and the measure of association between frequency and type was determined.

Results: Older children, those with higher admission functional scores, and children with less dependence on medical technology were recommended for “more.” Therapeutic exercise was the most common intervention recommended. Greater physical therapy frequency was associated with Functional Training and Motor Function Training.

Conclusion: Children's age, functional level, and technology dependence influence dosing recommendations. Interventions focused on function are associated with greater physical therapy frequency.

Differences are examined in physical therapy dosing frequency recommendations based on children's characteristics and types of recommended intervention at post-acute hospital admission.

Research Center (Drs Dumas and Fragala-Pinkham) and Physical Therapy Department (Dr Rosen), Franciscan Hospital for Children, Boston, Massachusetts; and College of Professional Studies, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts (Dr Folmar).

Correspondence: Helene M. Dumas, PT, DPT, MS, Research Center, Franciscan Hospital for Children, 30 Warren St, Boston, MA 02135 (

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. and Section on Pediatrics of the American Physical Therapy Association. All rights reserved.