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Screening for Early Childhood Intervention in Oncology

Corr, Angela Meyer, PT, DPT1; Thomas, Kristin M., PT, DPT2

doi: 10.1097/01.REO.0000000000000127

Infants and toddlers (birth to 3 years of age) diagnosed with cancer are at a critical phase of development and are at greater risk for developmental delays due to this early adversity. Because of this risk, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (SJCRH) developed an Early Childhood Clinic (ECC). Psychologists screen children using the Battelle Developmental Inventory, Second Edition (BDI-2). If physical and occupational therapy services are needed on the basis of the results of the BDI-2, the physical therapists and occupational therapists administer the Peabody Developmental Motor Scales, Second Edition (PDMS-2). If scores from the PDMS-2 display a delay in gross and/or fine motor skills, physical therapy and/or occupational therapy are initiated. At SJCRH, the psychologists in the ECC have screened 107 patients. Eighty-eight of the 107 patients (82%) were referred to physical therapy. Because 82% of patients who received a developmental screen are then referred to physical therapy, it appears beneficial to screen children younger than 3 years who have been diagnosed with a malignancy. The ECC at SJCRH is a program dedicated to improving quality of life for children and their families through hospital-based early intervention for chronically ill children. The ECC developed at SJCRH may be a model of care for pediatric oncology settings to encourage the development of age-appropriate motor skills while providing families with resources in home communities to further this development.

1Physical Therapist, Rehabilitation Services, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN

2Physical Therapist, Centennial, CO

Correspondence: Angela Meyer Corr, PT, DPT, Rehabilitation Services, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, 262 Danny Thomas Pl, Memphis, TN 38105 (

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Copyright 2019 © Academy of Oncology Physical Therapy, APTA
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