Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Peggy Mohr


Physical Therapy -- methods; Physical Therapy -- standards


Physical therapists are important members of multifaceted teams of professionals who work with children with disabilities. Much of the physical therapist's role involves assessment of a child's development. Assessment is an ongoing process of gathering and evaluating information about the child so that effective treatment can be implemented and eligibility for appropriate services determined. Therefore, it is imperative that physical therapists have current knowledge about various assessment instruments and the appropriate usage of each.

The intention of this study was to identify and describe the pediatric assessment instruments utilized by physical therapists in Minnesota and North Dakota. The results of this study provide information regarding trends in assessment instrumentation, advantages and/or disadvantages of specific tests, possible future pediatric physical therapy curriculum design and areas of need in assessment instrumentation. In order to obtain this information, it was necessary to ask individuals for their input via questionnaire survey.

Subjects included physical therapists practicing in Minnesota and North Dakota as identified by the Minnesota and North Dakota representatives of the APTA pediatrics section. Participation in this research was optional. The individual's decision whether or not to participate in no way affected their future relationships with the Physical Therapy Department at the University of North Dakota. Completion and return of the survey indicated consent by the individual to participate in this study. Subjects did not receive monetary compensation for participating in this research.

The initial mailing of the survey was followed by a reminder notice approximately two weeks later. A second mailing of the same survey was sent to non-respondents at approximately week four.

The survey process resulted in data that was coded and analyzed to identify: 1) trends in assessment instrument usage, methods of instrument application and purpose, 2) advantages and/or disadvantages of specific instruments, 3) information regarding subject's opinion of necessary entry-level physical therapist competencies in assessment instrumentation, and 4) areas of need in assessment instrumentation.