The Physiotherapy in Preschools Program: Describing a Student-Led Assessment Service for Children With Possible Motor Skill Difficulties

in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly

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Margarita D. TsirosUniversity of South Australia

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Emily J. WardUniversity of South Australia

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Sophie LefmannUniversity of South Australia

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Susan HillierUniversity of South Australia

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The aim of this study was to describe and undertake an initial evaluation of a student-led assessment service for children with possible motor-skill difficulties. A secondary analysis of cross-sectional descriptive clinical data collected from 2015 to 2016 was undertaken. Children (N = 102) were assessed in preschools by physiotherapy students (supervised by qualified physiotherapists). Key outcomes included the following: Children’s Activities Scale, Movement Assessment Battery for Children-2, and demographic/service-usage/onward referral statistics. The results highlighted that for every five children referred/assessed, two were at risk of motor-skill difficulties (∼43%). About 66% of children were subsequently referred on or monitored (40% requiring multidisciplinary follow-up). Conversely 34% of children did not require further services. In conclusion, a student-led assessment service may be a sustainable and feasible option to assist children at risk of motor-skill difficulties, enabling onward referral. Additional evaluation is required to garner stakeholder feedback.

The authors are with UniSA Allied Health & Human Performance, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA, Australia.

Tsiros (margarita.tsiros@unisa.edu.au) is corresponding author.
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