Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Thesis Format

Integrated Article


Master of Science


Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


Brunton, Laura


Learner-centered models have become more prevalent within early childhood interventions. However, it is still unclear which components are being implemented in clinical practice and if therapists are receiving the proper training to implement these strategies (Ward et al., 2020). The primary objective of this study is to evaluate the implementation outcomes of appropriateness, adoption, acceptability, and fidelity of a novel coaching intervention, the Applied Coaching Model (ACM), and practice support tool, the Applied Coaching Tool (ACT). An effectiveness-implementation Hybrid Type 1 design was used to gather information on the ACM and ACT delivery and implementation at the Early Childhood Rehabilitation Program associated with Alberta Health Services. This study demonstrates that the ACM and ACT meet the acceptability, appropriateness, adoption, and fidelity criteria of implementation within the pediatric rehabilitation context. These findings will provide the Alberta Children’s Hospital, Alberta Health Services, and other pediatric rehabilitation programs with confidence to create a larger implementation plan and expand training to all healthcare professionals providing care to children under the age of five years.

Summary for Lay Audience


The Applied Coaching Model (ACM) and Applied Coaching Tool (ACT) were created by a physiotherapist at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, to be used by therapists to help parents learn about their child’s development and achieve their child’s therapy goals. The program uses Family-Centered Care, relationship building, and coaching to help guide parents on how best to help their child. This program has different strategies that therapists can use to connect with families to assist in creating goals, learning, practicing skills, receiving feedback, and helping parents learn how to modify the strategies they use based on how their child performs/develops.


To determine if the ACM and ACT will be accepted and used as intended by therapists in the Early Childhood Rehabilitation Program at the Alberta Children’s Hospital.


Therapists joined a one-day training session led by one of the study investigators acting as a local site champion. Therapists were asked to choose coaching behaviours to practice and try the ACM and ACT with two clients per week over the course of 5 months to guide changes to their therapy delivery. They were also given time in their schedules twice a week to use practice sheets to write about their experiences with applying the model with their clients. Participants were asked to journal anything that helped or prevented them from using this model during their sessions. At the end of the training, the champion watched the therapists using the model in 2-3 sessions with a patient to score the therapist’s use of the model.


Results showed that therapists accepted and used the ACM and ACT accurately in their sessions with their clients. Results from this study will be used to create a plan to train other therapists at the Alberta Children’s Hospital and other children’s hospitals to ensure the model is applied appropriately in practice.