Driving contemporary practice for infants with hip dysplasia

Mrs Lucy Whelan1,2, Mrs Greta DeVincentis1, Mr David Harding1, Ms Melanie Toy Laing1

1Monash Health, Clayton, Australia, 2Monash University, Clayton, Australia

BACKGROUND: To rationalise the use of physiotherapist clinical skills in a large metropolitan childrens’ hospital associated with competing demands in both the acute and outpatient settings, it was proposed that a Grade Three Allied Health Assistant (AHA) could be delegated the initial fitting of Pavlik Harnesses in infants with developmental hip dysplasia and the conjunct education to parents.

AIM: To establish safe and effective practice for delegating Pavlik Harness fitting and education to AHAs.

METHOD: A competency training and assessment program for AHAs to carry out delegated provision, initial fitting and education for Pavlik harnesses for infants diagnosed with development hip dysplasia was designed. It was carried out and the practice was trialled and refined.

RESULTS: A competency training and assessment package was designed was collaboratively designed and implemented such that practice could commence:

  • The competency Standard was trialled and successful in establishing the required knowledge and essential skills for the provision and initial fitting of a Pavlik Harness to train a Grade Three AHA.
  • A significant reduction in demand on the physiotherapist’s time required to fit Pavlik harnesses and provide education to families.
  • Consequent increase in access to Physiotherapist time in acute services.


The practice of delegated Pavlik Harness fitting and education is now embedded and the competency training and assessment package is transferable to other Grade Three AHAs who may work in the paediatric space both within Monash Health and external to Monash Health.


Greta has been employed as an AHA for the past 10 years and has extensive experience in Rehabilitation and Chronic Pain Management and Research. Most recently she has been employed at MCH as a multidisciplinary grade 3 AHA for Acute Paediatrics and AHA Team Leader. In the physiotherapy services she works across Oncology and the Orthopaedic Hip clinic. She has helped to  establish a role for AHA’s within Monash Hospital in the Home  due to the increase in demand for physiotherapy services in the Cystic Fibrosis cohort during the COVID 19 pandemic.

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