Physical Therapists' Use and Alteration of Standardized Assessments of Motor Function in Children

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This study presents survey responses of pediatric physical therapists' use and alteration of standardized assessments of motor function in children aged 2 to 10 years.


Electronic and paper surveys were distributed to practicing physical therapists through the APTA Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy electronic newsletter and 2 national conferences. Data were analyzed by response frequencies, qualitative responses, and χ2analyses for demographic characteristics.


A total of 497 pediatric physical therapists responded. Most (93%) reported using standardized assessments, with the majority (84%) reporting the normative scores. Almost all respondents (94%) also reported that they at least occasionally modify assessments.


Standardized assessments are used by most therapists, but the high use of modifications during testing is concerning. Survey reports from therapists indicate a disconnect between standardized assessments and the needs of the child, leaving clinicians working to report required scores while maintaining validity of testing procedures.

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