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

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Abstract

Purpose:

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.

Methods:

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.

Results:

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.

Conclusion:

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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