Affiliations: [a] School of Community Health, Charles Sturt University, NSW, Australia
| [b] Kurrajong Therapy Plus, Wagga Wagga, NSW, Australia
Corresponding author: Claire Smart, School of Community Health, Charles Sturt University, 386 Elizabeth Mitchell Dr, Thurgoona NSW 2640, Australia. Tel.: +61 1800 275 278; E-mail: [email protected].
Abstract: INTRODUCTION:Kinesio tape (KT) is an emerging tool in paediatric physiotherapy. A small body of research suggests KT is efficacious with some children, but clinical guidelines are not yet available. The aim of this study was to gather physiotherapists’ practices and experiences using KT with children. The focus was on why, where, how, and how long physiotherapists use KT with children, and the outcomes they observe, to guide future experimental research. METHOD:Nine Australian physiotherapists, each with at least two years of experience using KT with children, were recruited. All nine physiotherapists completed a largely open-ended online survey, and three of these physiotherapists participated in a brief follow-up telephone interview. Basic content analysis was conducted. RESULTS:The physiotherapists’ practices and experience with KT largely related to four themes: (1) taping for muscle activation; (2) gait and posture outcomes; (3) child tolerance limiting effectiveness; and (4) inconsistent application methods and treatment durations. CONCLUSION:Physiotherapists in this study used KT to serve a variety of purposes, it was mainly considered beneficial for improving gait and posture. However, there was little agreement regarding how to apply it, for how long, and the exact nature of its benefits. Empirical research is also lacking on these questions. The effectiveness of KT as an adjunct therapy for improving children’s posture and gait warrants further investigation. Research comparing specific taping application methods and durations will be valuable in guiding physiotherapists’ practice.