APPT Research Committee

Advancement of research and translation of evidence into pediatric physical therapy practice is one of the goals of the Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy Strategic Plan.

To meet this goal, the Academy carries out a number of activities to support and promote research, including research grants, research awards, research summits, and review of abstracts for conferences. Click on the links above for more information.

 Have questions about our Committee? Contact the Chair of the Research Committee.


Research of the Month

Noelle Moreau, PT, PhD is an Associate Professor of physical therapy at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. Dr. Moreau received her doctoral training in biomechanics at Louisiana State University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in movement sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Moreau's research focuses on the investigation of the neuromuscular mechanisms underlying abnormal muscle function and movement impairments in children with cerebral palsy. The overarching goal of Dr. Moreau's research is the development of effective rehabilitation strategies to address these impairments and improve activity, participation, and quality of life. Dr. Moreau's research has been funded through the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Thrasher Research Fund, Pedal-with-Pete Foundation, American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), and the Section on Pediatrics of the APTA.

Dr. Moreau was recently awarded a $2.5 million R01 grant from the NIH's National Institute of Child Health and Human Development for a clinical trial to investigate the effects of a novel, high intensity power training program on functional walking capacity, neuromuscular function, and community-based activity and participation in children and adolescents with cerebral palsy. Power Training combined with Interval Treadmill Training (PT3) ├é┬átargets muscle power deficits specifically in order to drive changes in walking activity for children with cerebral palsy. Current rehabilitation practice utilizes motor learning principles related to specificity of practice, or task-specific training, for improving walking in those with neurological disorders, such as cerebral palsy.

However, this traditional singular approach fails to address the underlying muscular mechanisms responsible for the walking limitations and has not been shown to be more effective than other therapies in people with spinal cord injury, stroke, and cerebral palsy. The theoretical premise for PT3 is innovative in that it will address muscle power, a key ingredient that is missing from current clinical practice for children with cerebral palsy, and will combine it in a package of care with a task-specific training protocol that allows the participants to practice using muscle power generation during the functional task of walking. Another unique feature of this project is that mobile sensing technology will be used to directly measure walking activity and participation out in the community before and after the intervention. PT3 is an innovative departure from current rehabilitation practice with strong potential for improving mobility outcomes in ambulatory children with CP. Dr. Moreau at LSUHSC in New Orleans will partner with Dr. Kristie Bjornson at Seattle Children's Research Institute for this multi-site clinical trial.

Currently Funded Research Grants by APPT

    • April 2018 Cycle:

      • Mentored grant ($9,500) went to Megan Flores for her study titled: An investigation of trunk control in young children with Down Syndrome
    • September 2018 Cycle ($86,352):

      • Mentored grant ($9,675) to Jason Cook titled Caring for Children with Severe Cerebral Palsy: The Lived Experience of Parents.
      • Mentored grant ($10,000) to Jeongah Kim titled Using Exploratory Learning to Encourage Selective Hip-knee Joint Movement in Infants Born Full-term and Very Preterm
      • Research II grant ($9,765) to Alyssa Fiss titled Gaining insight and Understanding of Experiential Learning in Pediatrics PT Education.
      • Research I grant ($27,081) to Kristin Krosschell titled Mixed Methods Study of Utilization Patterns of Modified Ride on Vehicles for Kids With Developmental Delay
      • Research I grant ($29,831) to Barbara Sargent titled Understanding Selective Motor Control of Infants at High Risk for Cerebral Palsy

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