Infant positioning in daily life may mediate associations between physiotherapy and child development-video-analysis of an early intervention RCT

Tineke Dirks, Tjitske Hielkema, Elisa G. Hamer, Heelen Reinders - Messelink, Mijna Hadders-Algra*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Paediatric physiotherapy (PPT) in high-risk infants comprises family involvement, but it is unclear whether parents mediate the intervention effect. We demonstrated in a randomized controlled trial in high-risk infants comparing the family centred programme Coping and Caring for infants with special needs (COPCA) and Traditional Infant Physiotherapy (TIP) that process evaluation revealed associations between COPCA-characteristics and outcome.

Aims: To assess whether PPT affects how parents position their infant during bathing and whether this is associated with child outcome.

Methods and procedures: 21 infants received COPCA and 25 TIP between 3 and 6 months corrected age. Bathing sessions were videotaped at 3, 6 and 18 months. Time spent with specific infant positions was correlated with quantified PPT-actions and functional mobility at 18 months measured with the Paediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (PEDI).

Outcomes and results: At 3 and 18 months bathing position was similar in both groups, but differed at 6 months (time spent on sitting: COPCA 77.7%, TIP 39.2%; median difference 32.0% (95% CI: 10.6-50.5%). Sitting-time at 6 months was associated with higher PEDI functional mobility scores.

Conclusions and implications: Early PPT may affect parental behaviour, such as infant positioning during bathing, which, in turn, may affect child development. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-157
Number of pages11
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2016

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