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  • Resistance Training for Kids Can Be Safe and Beneficial When Well-Supervised

    Children may benefit from resistance training—but only if the program is professionally supervised and customized to the individual child's age, motor skill level, emotional maturity, and other factors. That's the bottom line of a position statement recently published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine and endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the North American Society for Pediatric Exercise Medicine, the National Athletic Trainers' Association, and several other organizations.

    The "Position statement on youth resistance training: The 2014 International Consensus" states that "there is now a compelling body of scientific evidence that supports regular participation in youth resistance training" as a way to combat inactivity, reduce sports-related injury, and instill lifelong fitness habits.

    That doesn't mean, however, that kids should start pumping as much iron as they can lift for as many reps as they can endure, according to the statement. Professionals must carefully evaluate a constellation of factors, and then develop a supervised program that responds to the physical, emotional, and intellectual realities of the child—an approach at the heart of the work done by physical therapists and physical therapist assistants. APTA has a history of advocacy for the importance of physical conditioning and wellness instruction for children, and offers resources on family exercise at its consumer-focused Move Forward site.

    The statement asserts that the real focus of a safe program should be on "developing the technical skill and competency [of the child] to perform a variety of resistance training exercises at the appropriate intensity and volume, while providing youth with an opportunity to participate in programmes that are safe, effective and enjoyable." The statement's release was first reported in a Reuters Healtharticle.

    Wal-Mart, Lowe's Will Pay for Employees' Hip and Knee Procedures in Select Facilities

    Hip and knee replacement procedures will be covered with no cost-sharing for employees of Wal-Mart and Lowe's—but only if those procedures take place in select facilities that have met specific evidence-based quality goals, according to a recent story from ModernHealthcare.com.

    The program, which will be offered by several companies besides the retail and home improvement giants, would still allow employees to receive care at a provider of their choice with regular cost-sharing in place. However, if the employee chooses to undergo the procedure at 1 of 4 participating hospitals, all costs for consultation, care, travel, lodging, and living expenses for the patient and a caregiver will be fully covered. The 4 so-called "designated center of excellence health care organizations" are Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore, Orange County-Irvine Medical Center in California, Mercy Hospital Springfield in Missouri, and the Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle.

    The article reports that the hospitals were selected by way of quality criteria developed by the Negotiating Alliance of The Pacific Business Group on Health. In a press release from Wal-Mart, the retailer's senior vice president of global benefits is quoted as saying that "each of these providers has a proven record of practicing evidence-based medicine with above-average positive patient outcomes in knee and hip replacement procedures." Selection decisions were made with an eye toward hospitals that produced consistent outcomes, and reported low rates of complications and repeat operations.

    APTA advocates for the important role physical therapists play in effective care for knee and hip replacement patients, and, through its patient-focused Move Forward website, offers a range of resources designed to help patients better understand the procedures and the ways a physical therapist can speed recovery.

    Calling All Residency Experts

    Members of APTA have an opportunity to help develop the clinical performance evaluation instrument for residency education by participating in a work group looking for volunteers with a range of backgrounds in residency programs.

    The American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE) is in search of volunteers interested in reviewing the current landscape of residency evaluation used in physical therapy and other professions and building a valid, reliable evaluation instrument. Experts are being recommended in the categories of residency program director (academic and clinic-based residency models), residency clinical educator, residency mentor, active resident, and residency graduate. ABPTRFE is also seeking an external member with expertise in measurement and evaluation.

    Work will begin in May 2014, and will include 2 2-day meetings per year, held at APTA headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, as well as a 1-day meeting during APTA’s Combined Sections Meeting. Additional teleconference meetings will be held as needed.

    To apply for this important project, visit the ABPTRFE website, where you can also review the complete charge for the work group. Deadline for application is November 30, with appointments made on February 3. If you have additional questions, contact Kendra Harrington, APTA manager of residency/fellowship at kendraharrington@apta.org.