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Study of the Relationship of Student Outcomes to School-Based Physical Therapy Services

Relationship of Student Outcomes to School-Based Physical Therapy Services

(PT COUNTS) is a study funded by the US Department of Education, Institute on Education Science funded (R324A110204, 2011-2014 ). It is a nationwide study of the relationship of student outcomes to the provision of school-based physical therapy. This multi-site observational study will describe accurately the outcomes that students achieve when receiving physical therapy within schools and the relationship of the physical therapy intervention to those outcomes. Knowing relationships between student outcomes and physical therapy intervention, as currently provided in schools, will influence physical therapy practice, future research, and professional development. Our research objectives are to describe the changes in students' participation in school activity, self-care, posture and mobility, and recreation and fitness outcomes and the relationships of these changes to identified characteristics of school-based physical therapy intervention, including service delivery models, activities, procedures, and dosage.


The 2011 to 2012 school years marked the beginning of recruitment of physical therapists and students. Data collection began in the fall 2012 and ended in the spring of 2013.  Analysis of the data is presently ongoing.  Reports of various aspects of the study have been and will continue to be presented nationally.  A manuscript outlining this practice-base research methodology is already in progress.


Presentations include:


Interventions in School-based Practice: Opening the Black Box. APTA Combined Sections Meetings, Las Vegas, Feb. 2014. Platform Session. (McCoy & Jeffries)


Reliability of the SchoolPhysical Therapy Interventions for Pediatrics Data System. APTA Combined Sections Meetings, Las Vegas, Feb. 2014. Poster Session. (Effgen, McCoy, Jeffries, Chiarello, Smarr, Bush, & Smith)


Monitoring Student Progress Using the School Function Assessment and Goal Attainment Scaling. APTA Section on Pediatrics Annual Conference, Anaheim, CA, November 8, 2013 (Chiarello, Effgen, & Stoner)


GAS: Goal Attainment Scaling. Jefferson County Public Schools, Louisville, KY, August 23, 2013 (Effgen)


GAS: Goal Attainment Scaling. Fayette County Public Schools, Lexington, KY, April 19, 2013 (Effgen & Schneck) 




What’s new in the literature?


S-PTIP Manual and Forms:

Training Manual: School - Physical Therapy Interventions for Pediatrics (S-PTIP) Data Form

S-PTIP Form Example 1

S-PTIP Form Example 2



Click here to view PT COUNTS Study abstract


Innovations in School-based Physical Therapy Practice sponsored by the APTA Section on Pediatrics, July 11 & 12, 2014, Mercer University, Atlanta, GA

A must read article for all pediatric PTs is Novak and colleagues’: A systematic review of interventions for children with cerebral palsy: state of the evidence. Developmental Medicine and Children Neurology, 2013, 55:885-910. Click here to read the article (PDF).