Fostering upper extremity motor development with an infant prone to play program using an evidence-based approach
Lee, Lowana Lai yee
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Due the fear of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), parents have been putting infants on their backs. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) started to recommend balancing sleeping in supine with prone play - also called Tummy Time-to encourage optimal, healthy infant development (Zachry & Kitzman, 2011). Due to various reasons, parents avoid putting the infants in the prone position even when awake. Evidence-based literature has shown that infants sleeping in supine without spending time in prone can lead to motor delay in their first year of life (Barlett & Fanning Kneale, 2003; Dudek-Shriber & Zelazny, 2007). Evidence also shows that weight bearing in prone is associated with motor development (Salls et al. 2002). This doctoral project attempts to identify the links between prone activities, postural control and fine motor development through research on evidence-based literature. It also provides a theoretical foundation, investigates the evidence and best practice in designing an educational package on prone play for typically developing and high risks infants. It also advocates best practice in occupational therapy by addressing a lack of evidenced based literature and attempts to add to the knowledge base in regards to tummy time and its effect on fine motor development. The target audiences are parents and caregivers of infants; the health care professionals that work with them; the funding agencies and policy makers. The qualitative and quantitative benefits of the parent education program will align with health promotion and wellness initiatives of the Ontario government. The project will describes a detailed evaluation plan and dissemination of results with estimated budgets. This will include presentation to the community and the ministries in the government. The project will contribute to these areas of occupational therapy: (1) addressing evidence-based practice in tummy time with typically developing and high risks infants; (2) providing best practice for implementing a Prone to Play program to foster upper extremity motor development; and (3) promoting health and wellness initiatives in occupational therapy.