February 2017  

Welcome to the February edition ( belated due to technical issues)  of CanChild Today! We are counting down the last weeks of winter here in the Northern Hemisphere, while looking forward to warmer days ahead. Wherever you may be, we hope you enjoy learning about a new guide to stem cell treatment for cerebral palsy by CP-NET researchers, and join us in celebrating recent accomplishments and publications by CanChild colleagues around the globe. 

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New Resource!

Current State of Stem Cell Treatments for Cerebral Palsy: A Guide for Patients, Families, and Service Providers

Stephanie Beldick and Michael Fehlings

Many families of children with cerebral palsy (CP) are interested in learning more about stem cell research and the potential that stem cells hold for treatment of CP.

This guide provides an overview of what stem cells are, what types are most relevant for the treatment of CP, and discusses research in the stem cell transplantation field in the context of both preclinical animal research and clinical trials. 

View now.

Featured Product

Quality of Upper Extremity Skills Test (QUEST)

The QUEST is an outcome measure that evaluates movement patterns and hand function in children with cerebral palsy. The four domains evaluated by the QUEST include:
  • Dissociated movement 
  • Grasp 
  • Protective extension 
  • Weight bearing

The QUEST can be used with children aged 18 months to 8 years of age and has excellent reliability and validity.



Congratulations to Jan Willem Gorter  and Christina Grant (co-PIs) who received funding from the  Hamilton Academic Health Sciences Organization  (HAHSO) for their project titled "An app-based Transition Toolkit targeting youth with chronic health conditions: A randomized trial as a foundation to improve healthcare transition and outcomes". This study will investigate whether an app-based transition toolkit (named MyTransition), designed to support youth moving from pediatric to adult healthcare, can improve experiences and lead to better health outcomes. 
Peter Rosenbaum was a keynote speaker at the 3rd Biennial Conference of the Sri Lanka Association for Child Development (SLACD) on January 20, 2017. His presentation, titled "Changing lives with the all-important F-Words", was featured in an article in the Sunday Times, Sri Lanka. 
Recent Publications by CanChild Members

While adolescent participation in leisure activities is associated with positive health outcomes, adolescents with impairments often experience restriction in their participation. This study aimed to assess the feasibility of a multi-strategy intervention to improve participation of adolescents with impairments by either changing their environment or the activity itself.  Eight participants, aged 12-19 and diagnosed with either cerebral palsy or spina bifida, set goals for participation. Intervention strategies were determined by analyzing barriers and facilitators for participation to support goal attainment, and results were measured using the Goal Attainment Scale (GAS) and the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure. It was found that the group as a whole attained 12 of 17 GAS goals, while demonstrating progress on an additional four goals. Barriers to participation that were identified through the study included the natural environment, government policies, and availability of transport. The need for more funding to provide devices supportive of participation was found in many cases. From the results, the intervention model was shown to be theoretically sound to apply individually tailored, multi-strand interventions to promote leisure participation.  Authors : Imms C, Mathews S, Richmond KN, Law M, Ullenhag A .  Disabil Rehabil. 2016;38(10):963-71. doi: 10.3109/09638288.2015.1068876. Epub 2015 Jul 24.

Research shared through traditional avenues such as through publication in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at academic/clinical conferences take approximately 17 years to enter clinical practice. In this study, the authors aim to describe the process by which the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) made its way into clinical practice globally in 6-7 years, and how the Communication Function Classification System (CFCS) is currently being shared with speech language pathologists (SLPs). The strategies for implementation used for both classification systems are framed using Chaudoir et al.'s model. Recommendations for how researchers can promote the uptake of new tools in practice are provided within this theoretical model.  Challenges that have been encountered in the process are also reported through the results from an online survey involving SLPs and the use of the CFCS. It is highlighted that both researchers and clinicians play roles in implementing new tools to practice. Authors:  Cunningham BJ, Hidecker MJ, Thomas-Stonell N, Rosenbaum P. Disabil Rehabil. 2017 Jan 27:1-12. doi: 10.1080/09638288.2017.1280544. [Epub ahead of print]
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