PTA Students Present at Ohio PTA Gathering
Two second-year students from the Kent State East Liverpool physical therapist assistant program, Jordyn Midcap and Lacie Graham, presented their research findings at the first-ever East Central District Student Symposium of the Ohio Physical Therapy Association.
The event was hosted by OPTA and Youngstown State University’s physical therapy program in early November. Midcap and Graham were the only representatives from Kent State and the only students from a PTA program; the other presenters represented doctoral/graduate programs.
The platform of their research was “Does physical therapy have a significant impact on strengthening in pediatric patients with Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy and spinal muscular atrophy?”
Midcap explained that she and Graham began their research project at the end of the Spring 2018 semester and “really dove into the research part” around the middle of July.
They hypothesized that physical therapy alone would increase the strength in pediatric patients’ muscles and improve their quality of life.
“We faced the challenge that there is very little research available about this specific topic,” Midcap noted. “Of those articles we did find, there were small sample sizes which made it hard to create a definitive answer. Overall, we concluded that we could not support our hypothesis that physical therapy alone will increase the strength in muscles. We found that the best approach is a combination of therapies.”
The two students each hope to continue their education once they graduate from Kent State, and each would like to work with pediatric patients.
“I went into this research looking to prepare myself to go to school to earn a doctor of PT and to gain more knowledge about pediatric conditions,” Midcap said. “I experienced ‘Give Kids the World,’ where I served children and their parents, which helped me decide what career path I wanted to take as a DPT.”
Graham, too, has an interest in working with younger patients. “I was particularly interested in researching pediatrics because I had the wonderful experience of working with an individual with special needs for five years before joining this PTA program,” she said. “I would love to be prepared as a PTA to better the lives of the pediatric population.”
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Photo: PTA students (from left) Lacie Graham and Jordyn Midcap recently presented their research at the first-ever student symposium of the Ohio PTA’s district gathering.