Physical Therapy-Related Child Outcomes in School: An Example of Practice-Based Evidence Methodology

Susan K. Effgen, Sarah Westcott McCoy, Lisa A. Chiarello, Lynn M. Jeffries, Heather Bush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Purpose: To describe the use of practice-based evidence research methodology in a prospective, multisite observational study to investigate changes in students' participation in school activity, self-care, posture/mobility, recreation/fitness, and academic outcomes, and the relationships of these changes to characteristics of school-based physical therapy. Methods: One hundred nine physical therapists completed the training and data collection and 296 students, 5 to 12 years of age (mean age = 7.3 years) had 6 months of complete data. Therapists completed individualized (Goal Attainment Scaling) and standardized (School Function Assessment) outcome measures for students at the beginning and end of the school year and during the year collected weekly data on services to and on behalf of the students. Summary: This research design enabled the investigation of complex research questions related to school-based practice. The findings of this study, to be reported later, should influence school-based therapy by providing guidance related to what activities, interventions, and services influence student outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-56
Number of pages10
JournalPediatric Physical Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research reported here was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, US Department of Education, through Grant R324A110204 to the University of Kentucky. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the Institute or the US Department of Education. REDCap was used in the data analysis, which was supported by NIH CTSA grant UL1TR000117.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.


  • child/disabled
  • evidence-based practice/methods
  • health services research/methods
  • observational study
  • outcomes
  • physical therapy practice
  • research design
  • schools

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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