Plain English Summary
Background and study aims
Good posture is important for children with physical disabilities, improving health and well-being and enabling participation. However, parents and teachers experience difficulty because the equipment is complex and postural care is difficult to understand. In response to these concerns, a training package has been developed. The aim of this training package is to improve knowledge and understanding of postural care and confidence in providing care.
Who can participate?
Parents and school staff who care for a physically disabled child who attends a mainstream primary school
What does the study involve?
Participants are invited to take part in the 2-hour postural care training package, which aims to help them increase their knowledge, confidence and understanding of postural care. At this time they also complete a questionnaire about their prior knowledge and understanding of postural care. During the next 6 weeks participants are contacted by members of the therapy team to provide support to reinforce learning of the skills gained in the workshop. Six weeks after the initial 2-hour postural care training participants are asked to complete a second questionnaire (either in person or online). Also at this final follow-up participants are invited to a focus group to discuss feedback on the whole 6-week postural care intervention.
What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
It is hoped that through participating in the training package participants' knowledge about postural care will increase. In addition, it is expected that this increase in knowledge and understanding will also result in an increase in confidence when delivering postural care. In terms of risks, participants may find the postural care training package and the questionnaire too long to complete. They may also feel that some of the questions on the questionnaire are personal; however, these are important questions to ask as they will help improve understanding of postural care.
Where is the study run from?
The study recruited participants from West Kent, Sussex and Surrey (UK)
When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
October 2011 to November 2013
Who is funding the study?
National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) (UK)
Who is the main contact?
Dr Sarah Hotham
A study into the effectiveness of a postural care education program for parents and teachers who are responsible for the postural care needs of disabled children at home and school
Does providing a postural care training package to parents and teaching staff significantly improve their understanding, knowledge and confidence when following therapy programmes at home and in mainstream schools?
South East Coast-Kent REC, 27/06/2011, ref:11/LO/0653
Non-randomised interventional treatment trial
Primary study design
Secondary study design
Non randomised study
Quality of life
Patient information sheet
Not available in web format, please use the contact details to request a patient information sheet
Topic: Generic Health Relevance and Cross Cutting Themes; Subtopic: Generic Health Relevance (all Subtopics); Disease: Health Services Research, Paediatrics
Educational programme, 2-hour training workshop, followed by one-to-one support and advice from therapists delivered over a 6-week period.
Follow-up was 6 weeks after the postural care training workshop.
Primary outcome measure
Understanding, knowledge and confidence in postural care questionnaire.; Timepoint(s): Time 1 before the intervention, Time 2 following the intervention.
Secondary outcome measures
Not provided at time of registration
Overall trial start date
Overall trial end date
Reason abandoned (if study stopped)
Participant inclusion criteria
Postural care workshop:
Parents and teachers of primary school aged children with a physical disability, who attend a mainstream school and also receive occupational therapy/ physiotherapy.
Focus groups: Adults
All participants from the workshop will be invited to attend the focus groups.
Children of these participants will also be offered the opportunity to attend an interview.
Focus groups: Therapists
1. All therapists involved in the workshops will be eligible to participate.
Target Gender: Male & Female; Upper Age Limit 65 years ; Lower Age Limit 6 years
Target number of participants
Planned Sample Size: 112; UK Sample Size: 112
Participant exclusion criteria
Postural care workshop:
1. Parents and teachers of children with a physical disability under the age of 4 or over the age of 11. Also those attending special schools and those not receiving therapy at the time of the study.
2. Individuals who do not have adequate understanding of English are excluded from the study. This decision was made on the on the basis that a good working knowledge of the English language would be necessary to fully participate in the intervention (workshop and completing outcome measure) and focus groups.
Focus groups: Adults, therapists and interviews with the children
Those who have not participated or whose parents have not participated in the six-week postural care intervention.
Recruitment start date
Recruitment end date
Countries of recruitment
Trial participating centre
East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust
East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust (UK)
Research for Patient Benefit Programme; Grant Codes: PB-PG-0110-21045
NIHR Research for Patient Benefit Programme, RfPB
Funding Body Type
Funding Body Subtype
Results and Publications
Publication and dissemination plan
Following the conclusion of the study a series of POSTED (Postural Care in Education) Train the Trainer workshops were delivered at Canterbury Christ Church University to Children’s Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists from across the UK. POSTED is a ‘Train the Trainer’ intervention. Children’s occupational therapists and physiotherapists attend a one day POSTED training workshop that equips them to deliver an evidence based training intervention to parents and teachers who manage the postural care needs of children at home and school. The training package builds the knowledge, confidence and skills of parents and carers in postural care. Funding to support an evaluation of the train the trainer initiative was made available through a Higher Education Innovation Fund award from Canterbury Christ Church University (2016-17). Results of the evaluation will be published in 2018. Options for the further development of the initiative are currently under consideration.
IPD sharing statement
The data sharing plans for the current study are unknown and will be made available at a later date.
Intention to publish date
Participant level data
To be made available at a later date
Basic results (scientific)