Treating infants: a continuing education course on best practices for evaluation and treatment of infants with hand dysfunction
Horovitz, Roni R.
MetadataShow full item record
Today, there is agreement among occupational therapy researchers and professionals on the importance of treatment during the very early years of human development and the importance of hand function in regards to child development. Despite its importance, there is a gap in knowledge and skills of pediatric occupational therapy practitioners in evaluating and treating infant hand dysfunction. Thus, there is a clear need to develop educational opportunities to train occupational therapists in evaluating and treating infants with hand dysfunction in multiple settings and clinical conditions. An online educational program now in development, “Treating Infants with Hand Dysfunctions: A Continuing Education Course on Best Practices for the Evaluation and Treatment of Infants with Hand Dysfunction” (Treating Infants), will enable occupational therapy practitioners to understand the unique aspects of hand function in infants, effectively screen and assess their hand functions, and develop practical treatment techniques to improve their participation of infants with hand dysfunction. Three specific objectives were defined for this project: (a) conduct a thorough review of the professional literature to understand better the nature of the problem and its contributing factors, (b) explore whether a continuing education online course could effectively increase and promote the knowledge and skills of pediatric occupational therapy practitioners and students, and (c) develop an evidence-based online continuing education course for pediatric occupational therapy practitioners on the topic of treating infants with hand dysfunction. A mixed-method (with formative and summative approaches) study will be conducted to evaluate the initial program implementation (pilot study). Measurement instruments include pre- and post-course and follow-up assessments and surveys. Results will be disseminated to primary and secondary target audiences. Occupational therapy practitioners may benefit from this online course as a form of continuing education. After completing the online education modules, practitioners and students will have heightened knowledge of how to evaluate and treat infants with hand dysfunctions.