Physiotherapists provide considerable services to children with ASD and indicate needs for professional development and clinical guidelines: an observational study.

Jenny Eskelinen*, Nikki Milne, Nancy Low Choy, Karin Schuhmann, Lisa Truscott, Mike Steele

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Questions: Are Queensland physiotherapists providing services to children diagnosed with or suspected of having ASD? Are there differences in service provision between the physiotherapy providers? Are the professional development needs of physiotherapists being met? Is there a need for national physiotherapy clinical practice guidelines?
Design: Prospective survey study.
Participants: Physiotherapists (n = 146) working with children in QLD, providing/not providing services to children diagnosed or suspected of having ASD, were invited to respond to our survey.
Results: Seventy-four physiotherapists returned the survey (51%). Physiotherapists provided services to 1202 children diagnosed with or suspected of having ASD in the past six months. Sixty-three physiotherapists (97%) provided services in a multidisciplinary team. Children aged 4 – 6 years (n = 481) formed the largest age group of children receiving physiotherapy services, followed by those aged 7 – 10 years (n = 362). Department of Education and Training (DET) provided significantly more physiotherapy services to children with ASD (96%) than other service roviders
(p = .002). Professional development in the specific area of ASD was described as “insufficient needs being met” by 35 respondents (47%). The need for clinical practice guidelines for physiotherapists was reported by 69 respondents (93%).
Conclusions: Physiotherapists working with children in QLD are providing considerable services to children diagnosed with or suspected of having ASD. DET is the largest service provider for children with ASD, consistent with the age groups of children receiving services. There is a perceived lack of physiotherapy specific ASD related professional development opportunities. Clinical practice guidelines are sought by the majority of physiotherapists surveyed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages68
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011
EventAPA Physiotherapy Conference 2011 - Brisbane, Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 27 Oct 201130 Oct 2011

Conference

ConferenceAPA Physiotherapy Conference 2011
Abbreviated titleAPA 2011
CountryAustralia
CityBrisbane
Period27/10/1130/10/11

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Eskelinen, J., Milne, N., Low Choy, N., Schuhmann, K., Truscott, L., & Steele, M. (2011). Physiotherapists provide considerable services to children with ASD and indicate needs for professional development and clinical guidelines: an observational study.. 68. Abstract from APA Physiotherapy Conference 2011, Brisbane, Australia.