Effect of the START-Play Physical Therapy Intervention on Cognitive Skills Depends on Caregiver-Provided Learning Opportunities

Natalie A. Koziol, Christiana D. Butera, Kari S. Kretch, Regina T. Harbourne, Michele A. Lobo, Sarah W. McCoy, Lin Ya Hsu, Sandra L. Willett, Audrey E. Kane, James A. Bovaird, Stacey C. Dusing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aims: This study evaluated whether caregiver-provided learning opportunities moderated the effect of START-Play physical therapy intervention on the cognitive skills of young children with neuromotor delays, and whether START-Play impacted caregiver-provided learning opportunities over time. Methods: One hundred and twelve children with neuromotor delays (7–16 months) participated in a multisite randomized clinical trial evaluating the efficacy of START-Play. Children were assessed at baseline and 3 (post intervention), 6, and 12 months post baseline. Cognition was scored from the Bayley Scales of Infant & Toddler Development, Third Edition, cognitive scale. The proportion of time caregivers spent providing learning opportunities was coded from a 5-minute caregiver-child free play interaction. Results: Baseline caregiver-provided learning opportunities moderated the 3- and 12-month effects of START-Play on cognition. Cognitive gains due to START-Play were more pronounced for children whose caregivers provided more learning opportunities. START-Play did not impact caregiver-provided learning opportunities over time. Conclusions: START-Play may have a lasting effect on children’s cognition, but this effect is contingent on caregivers providing their child with ample opportunities to practice cognitive skills. Strategies for improving caregivers’ uptake and transfer of START-Play principles to their daily routines should be evaluated. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02593825.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPhysical and Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Cognition
  • early intervention
  • infant development
  • neuromotor delays
  • parent-child interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Occupational Therapy

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