Date Presented 04/22/2023

OT and physical therapy students were paired to complete developmental monitoring and screening in a public health setting. Using a validated survey tool for a pretest–posttest, results showed significant improvements in perceived clinical competency.

Primary Author and Speaker: Kate Barlow

Contributing Authors: MaryAnn Kniska, Anna Carpenter, Sandra Sego

Developmental monitoring (DM) and screening are recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for early identification (Lipkin & Marcias, 2020). Poverty is a key social determinant of health which is known to increase the risk of developmental delay (AAP, 2016), and children who have known high-risk factors, such as poverty, require close DM (Lipkin & Macias, 2020). As a result of the covid-19, children born during the pandemic are at an even greater risk for delay and require long term DM (Shuffrey et al., 2022). DM should be completed by all pediatric clinicians (Dosman et al., 2012) and screening competence is required for both occupational therapy (OT) and physical therapy (PT) students. The purpose of this study was to examine the perceived clinical competency and impact of interprofessional education for implementation of DM and screening. This study is an experimental, pretest/posttest design. Participants included second year OT masters students and third year PT doctoral students enrolled in their respective first pediatric courses. OT and PT students received an anonymous Self Reflection of Clinical Reasoning and Reflection (SACRR) survey and were paired together to implement their DM and screening assignments with families participating in WIC. 46 matched surveys were completed: (17 OT and 29 PT). A paired-groups t test was conducted to determine any effects of the training. The pre-test scores (M = 3.69, SD = .44) were significantly lower than the post-test scores (M = 4.00, SD = .45), t(47) = -5.50, p = .001, 95% CI[ -.42, -.19], d = .39. This supports the hypothesis that the training had an effect on the students’ SACRR. The students’ SACRR pre- and post-assessments showed significant improvements in their perceived clinical competency in implementing DM and screening. This study demonstrates a successful model of interprofessional education and its benefits to public health initiatives, specifically in early identification.


American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Community Pediatrics. (2016). Poverty and Child Health in the United States. Pediatrics, 137(4),e20160339.

Dosman, C., Andrews, D., & Goulden, K. (2012). Evidence-based milestone ages as a framework for developmental surveillance. Pediatric Child Health, 17(10), 561–568.

Lipkin, P. & Macias, M. (2020). Promoting optimal development: Identifying infants and young children with developmental disorders through developmental surveillance and screening. Pediatrics, 145(1), e20193449.

Shuffrey, L., Firestein, M., Kyle, M., Fields, A., Alcantara, C., Amso, D., Austin, J., Bain, J., Barbosa, J., Bence, M., Bianco, C., Fernandez, C., Goldman, S., Gyamfi-Bannerman, C., Hott, V., Hu, Y., . . . Dumitriu, D. (2022). Association of birth during the COVID-19 Pandemic With Neurodevelopmental Status at 6 Months in Infants With and Without In utero exposure to maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection. Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics.