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Pediatric Outcomes Toolbox: Motor & Mobility Skill Activity Assessment

presented by Robin Dole, PT, DPT, EdD, PCS

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Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

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The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) provides a framework for describing and measuring important aspects of an individual's health condition. Children with motor and mobility challenges may demonstrate impairments in body systems and functions, limitations in activity performance, and restriction in their participation in a variety of contexts. Your Pediatric Outcomes Toolbox will discuss the measurement of activity (with a focus on direct assessment of motor and mobility skills), provide examples of single-task and multi-item measures, and illustrate best practices in measurement through case examples.

Meet Your Instructor

Robin Dole, PT, DPT, EdD, PCS

Robin L. Dole, PT, DPT, EdD, PCS, is a professor of physical therapy and prior director of the Institute for Physical Therapy at Widener University. She currently serves as dean of the School of Human Service Professions at Widener. Dr. Dole has been involved in pediatric practice for nearly 30 years, and as an academician…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. The Importance of Movement for Children

Movement is essential to life. For children, movement is important to developmental processes as children learn, communicate, function, socialize, engage, and play. Children with movement challenges also face challenges in these other important life skills. This chapter will illustrate the importance of movement for children developing typically and for those with movement challenges.

2. What Constitutes Motor and Mobility Skills

The ICF defines activity as the execution of a task by an individual. Children and youth with motoric challenges may experience activity limitations that may be the result of body system and function impairments, that may be influenced by contextual factors, and that may interfere with participation in their life situations at home, school, and the community. This chapter will present information regarding the classification of motor and mobility skills within the ICF as well as discuss the benefits and challenges to direct assessment of motor and mobility skills in children.

3. Review of Relevant Measures Appropriate for Different Ages and Applications

Direct assessment of motor and mobility skills can be accomplished utilizing single-task measures and multi-item assessments. Both norm-referenced and criterion-referenced tools may be appropriate. Therapists may face challenges measuring motor and mobility skills when children have co-occurring challenges in communication, intellectual functioning, or attention. Children with significant movement limitations also present a measurement challenge when many of the available and age-appropriate measures are developmentally focused. Selection of appropriate tests and measures or using appropriate alternative methods may be an option for children in these situations. This chapter will review a variety of single-task and multi-item measures of activity and discuss helpful strategies for selecting measures that will yield helpful data for clinical decision-making.

4. Clinical Case Example: Selection, Administration, Interpretation, Sharing Results

This final chapter will use a case example to illustrate the process of selecting appropriate tests and measures for direct assessment of activity depending on the child’s age and desired outcomes related to motor and mobility skills. Tips for administration, interpretation, and sharing the results with others will be discussed.

5. Q&A Session

This Q&A session includes a pediatric physical therapist to discuss the direct assessment of motor and mobility skills.

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