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Pediatric Physical Therapy:
Section Information: Abstracts of Poster and Platform Presentations for the 2004 Combined Sections Meeting: Poster Presentations

DETECTION OF GROSS MOTOR IMPAIRMENTS OR DEVELOPMENTAL DELAY BY PHYSICAL THERAPISTS AND DEVELOPMENTAL INTERVENTIONISTS.

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DETECTION OF GROSS MOTOR IMPAIRMENTS OR DEVELOPMENTAL DELAY BY PHYSICAL THERAPISTS AND DEVELOPMENTAL INTERVENTIONISTS.

S.K. Effgen, A. Henning, A. Lee, D. Russell, Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY.

PURPOSE/HYPOTHESIS: Early Intervention (EI) is provided to assist young children with disabilities. The ability to detect subtle gross motor impairments or delay is difficult and if not detected these children would not receive EI including physical therapy, when intervention can be most effective. Developmental interventionists (DIs) frequently determine eligibility for EI. This study compared the ability to detect subtle gross motor impairments and developmental delay in a young child between physical therapists (PTs) and DIs.

NUMBER OF SUBJECTS: There were 37 subjects (average age 38 years)who worked in EI: 11 PTs and 26 DIs(10 with state training in assessment and 16 without assessment training).

MATERIALS/METHODS: The subjects viewed a videotaped evaluation of a 15-month-old child who exhibited documented, but subtle motor impairments and developmental delay. After the video, the subjects completed a questionnaire that included questions from the Batelle Developmental Inventory (BDI).

RESULTS: Descriptive statistics and Pearson Chi-Square were used to analyze the data. Statistically significant differences were noted between the responses of the PTs and DIs. All PTs and trained DIs, but only 25% of the untrained DIs indicated any developmental delay. 100% of PTs, 40% of trained DIs, and only 25% of untrained DIs indicated motor impairments. 86% of PTs and trained DIs, but only 13% of untrained DIs believed the child was eligible for EI. 100% of PTs and trained DIs, but only 40% of the untrained DIs believed the child should receive a physical therapy evaluation. No statistically significant differences were noted regarding the BDI questions.

CONCLUSIONS: Differences in the ability to detect gross motor impairments and developmental delay by PTs and DIs were noted. Fortunately there no significant differences between PTs and trained DIs who believed the child was eligible for EI and warranted a physical therapy evaluation.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE: The inability to recognize subtle gross motor impairment and delay by the DIs not trained in assessment supports the need for and success of assessment training programs. Apparently, without adequate training in assessment, many DIs would not recommend EI or a physical therapy evaluation for children with less obvious problems. The lack of differences on the BDI points to the limitations of this common measure.

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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