Sunday, 17 January 2010

New runner in physiotherapy research stakes

No hot favourite for Conductive Education

The following article has  just burst fresh out of the starting box:

Effgen, S. K., Chan, L. (2010) Occurrence of gross motor behaviors and attainment of motor objectives in children with cerebral palsy participating in conductive education, Physiotherapy Theory and Practice, vol. 26, no 1, pp. 22-39

The article appears in a to-be-paid-for journal. Much as I should like to find out what it says, it would cost me US$ 43.00 to do so. The full article might be the best thing since fried bread but previous experience of such items makes this rather an uncertain punt.

Here at least is the published abstract:

ABSTRACT. This exploratory study investigated the frequency of occurrence of gross motor behaviors by nine children with cerebral palsy (CP) participating in an 11-month conductive education (CE) program and the attainment of their gross motor objectives. The intervention team determined gross motor objectives for each child. Activities to achieve those objectives were fully integrated into the child's daily routines. Interval by interval recording was used to observe eight stability, seven mobility, and six transfer behaviors during four school days for each child. The interrater reliability using a kappa statistic was 0.73–0.93 for the observed behaviors. An independent evaluator determined that the children achieved 83% of their gross motor objectives for the first term and 89% for the second term of the year. Of the objectives initially not achieved, three related to stair climbing, an activity not observed being practiced. Stability behaviors, mainly sitting, occurred at substantially higher rates than all mobility and transfer behaviors. All stability and transfer objectives that were practiced were achieved. The children spent the majority of their day in sitting. While the children achieved the majority of their motor objectives, the limited active mobility seen in this and other preschools warrants further investigation.

It looks again as if more research is needed by someone.

Checking form

Susan Effgen is a professor of physical therapy at the University of Kentucky.

Before placing a bet (US43.00 in this case), it is always well to examines your chosen runner's form. I see inter alia that less than two years ago Susan Effgen published an article called

Review of selected physical therapy interventions for school age children with disabilities

Yes, you guessed right, Conductive Education was one of those 'physical therapy interventions'. You can find a summary of this article at:


If you care, the fifteen are listed there as follows:

... adapted seating for children with cerebral palsy; conductive education; constraint-induced movement therapy; lower extremity casting, orthoses and splints for children with neurological disorders; neurodevelopmental treatment; partial body weight supported treadmill training; passive stretching to improve range of motion; strengthening for children with cerebral palsy; and weight-bearing interventions for children with cerebral palsy.

Horses for courses

This earlier article is already enjoying citation in the physiotherapy 'literature'. If that's the sort of race you follow, then you probably work in the sort of institution that will pay for this stuff, and Ms Effgen looks a reasonable tip.

If it is Conductive Education that concerns you, then her form so far suggests that punters should hang on to their money, at least pending some surprising future wins.

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