The use of standing supports for children with disabilities

A. Wintergold, Teresa Pountney, D. Cowan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Standing supports for children with disabilities are widely used although the evidence of the benefits is limited. This paper describes the results of a questionnaire that was sent out to a purposive sample of seventy physiotherapists, designed to find out about current practice of the use of standing supports. The response rate was 80%. The most commonly prescribed standing support provided prone and upright postures. The results showed conflicting assessment criteria for the use of a prone standing position. All of the therapists agreed that the choice of standing support was based on an assessment but the criteria varied. The mean age to start using a standing support was 13.2 months (range 6-48 months). The reasons for using a standing support and what is hoped to be achieved were agreed by over 80% of the therapists i.e. increased bone mineral density, reduction of contractures, maintenance of muscle length, experience of 'normal' standing position, for social reasons, for physiological benefits and for development of the hip joint. However muscle strength was a priority for only 64% of physiotherapists when using this equipment. 55% of physiotherapists believed that current standing supports meets the needs of the user and 30% did not. The results indicated a need for more evidence to support the use of standing supports and guidelines for their provision and use.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-21
Number of pages9
JournalAssociation of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists
Issue number126
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008


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