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Commentary on: “Preliminary Aquatic Physical Therapy Core Sets for Children and Youth With Neurological Disorders: A Consensus Process”

O'Neil, Margaret E. PT, PhD, MPH; Fragala-Pinkham, Maria PT, DPT, MSDPT

Author Information
Pediatric Physical Therapy: July 2019 - Volume 31 - Issue 3 - p 279
doi: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000629
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“How could I apply this information?”

The authors describe an international expert consensus process to identify the most relevant International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health Model (ICF) categories to include in a comprehensive and brief version of the core sets (CSs) for aquatic physical therapy (APT). The brief APT CS includes the fewest intervention categories possible for a minimal standard for describing and evaluating interventions for clinical, educational, and research purposes. Results of this consensus process suggest that active movement is the main intervention during APT and that use of learning and specific feedback techniques (ie, knowledge of results) is important strategies to consider.

Clinicians may apply APT CSs to inform development of a plan of care for APT, including selection of intervention strategies and assessment tools for children and youth with developmental disabilities. Researchers may examine APT effectiveness and clinical educators may teach APT program design using the CSs. APT CSs may be helpful for developing administration guidelines and practice policies to promote availability of and access to APT.

“What should I be mindful about when applying this information?”

Although the ICF items and categories used in the APT CSs were chosen through expert consensus, there is a need to generate more evidence on the effectiveness of these items in APT. The CSs provide a “list” of items to consider for intervention; however, the application and “dosing” of APT sessions is important to consider when designing or evaluating APT interventions.

Margaret E. O'Neil, PT, PhD, MPH
Columbia University
New York, New York
Maria Fragala-Pinkham, PT, DPT, MSDPT
Franciscan Children's Hospital
Boston, Massachusetts

© 2019 Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy of the American Physical Therapy Association