APTA Pediatrics Education Hub

Knowledge-to-Action - Social Determinants of Health in Pediatric Physical Therapy: Optimizing Health Outcomes

  • Registration Closed


Knowledge-to-Action: Campbell’s Physical Therapy for Children- 6th Edition

Chapter 2 Social Determinants of Health in Pediatric Physical Therapy:

Optimizing Health Outcomes

Course Description: An understanding of the influence of social determinants of health on health outcomes in pediatric physical therapy is the basis for effective, equitable and collaborative care. This course will help pediatric physical therapists integrate these considerations as a necessary component of clinical decision making. The course includes a combination of asynchronous lectures, readings, and brief worksheets, along with a capstone project that explicitly encourages participants to apply and reflect on course information. The synchronous sessions will include lecture and small group discussion and interaction around key concepts. The first 2-hour session will provide definitions of social determinants of health, health equity, and health disparities. This will lead to an exploration of the economic, educational, health care and neighborhood-built environment aspects of social determinants of health, along with the overlapping cultural and structural systems. The focus will be on an upstream perspective of the root causes of health disparities. Strategies for optimizing health outcomes will be introduced including screening for social determinants of health needs and cultural responsiveness.

The second session, also 2 hours, will continue to provide strategies for optimizing health outcomes for children and families receiving pediatric physical therapy. The focus will be on anti-racism, exploring implicit biases, microaggressions, trauma-informed care, and clinical decision making integrating non-medical factors.

The final sessions will clarify the intersection of pediatric physical therapy and social determinants of health. Participants will share information from capstone projects and discuss these with course instructors and co-participants. The focus on practical strategies to incorporate social determinants of health into pediatric physical therapy patient management will support the clinician in equitable practice and the educator in preparing students to meet the needs of a diverse society.

This course offers 11.5 CEU credits. Participants must attend and participate in all sessions and successfully complete all course assignments in order to receive the CEU credits.

APTA Pediatrics members get a 10% off discount that is applied to the total cost.

In addition, all course participants will have the opportunity to purchase Campbell’s Physical Therapy for Children, 6th edition at a reduced rate ($80 for the hard copy, $60 for the eBook).


Learning Objectives

At the completion of this course participants will be able to:

  1. Critically review Chapter 2
  2. Describe the upstream perspective of the role of social determinants of health on health disparities in pediatric physical therapy
  3. Integrate the relevance of social determinants of health screening into pediatric physical therapy practice and/or teaching opportunities.
  4. Describe opportunities for anti-racism, trauma-informed care, and cultural responsiveness in pediatric physical therapy.
  5. Describe the intersection of social determinants of health in pediatric physical therapy patient/client management.
  6. Apply strategies for optimizing health outcomes based on a pediatric physical therapy case focusing on social determinants of health.

Course Instructors

Casey Nesbit, PT, DPT, PCS
Senobia Crawford, PT, PhD
Joe Schreiber, PT, PhD, FAPTA

Dr. Casey Nesbit received her BS in Physical Therapy from Virginia Commonwealth University, MS, and DSc in Rehabilitation Sciences from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, and DPT from Marymount University. She is a board certified Pediatric Clinical Specialist with 40 years of experience. Her clinical experience includes part time work over the past 17 years in Malawi, Africa, and current practice at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. She is currently an associate professor at the UCSF/SFSU Graduate Program in Physical Therapy. Her research interests include valuation of disability in developing countries, health equity, clinical reasoning, and effectiveness of training programs in the developing world.

Dr. Senobia Diane Crawford has served on the faculty of both majority and minority serving institutions and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).  Most recently, Dr. Crawford served as Chair and Associate Professor at Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia.  Dr. Crawford received a BS in Physical Therapy and MEd in Early Childhood Education from Howard University and PhD in Education with a minor in Developmental Psychology from UCLA.  Her clinical experiences include home and school based pediatric physical therapy in underserved areas in urban and rural communities in the United States.  Dr. Crawford’s scholarly interests focus on child development and challenges to the neurological / developmental systems across the life span.  Her current interest is health disparities and factors that hinder or promote health equity.  She is a chapter co-author in the pediatric physical therapy textbook Campbell’s Physical Therapy for Children, 6th edition.

Joseph Schreiber, PT, PhD, FAPTA is a former President of the Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy of the APTA between 2011 and 2017. Dr. Schreiber has published numerous articles related to pediatric physical therapy and the implications of evidence-based practice and knowledge translation for physical therapists. He is the co-editor and a chapter author in the pediatric physical therapy textbook Campbell’s Physical Therapy for Children, 6th edition. He has presented multiple continuing education sessions at numerous local, state, national, and international conferences on effective clinical practice and knowledge translation strategies in pediatric physical therapy. He is the owner of PT Learning for practice (www.ptlearningforpractice.com.)


Course Flyer
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource.