June 2016  

Welcome to the June edition of CanChild Today! We are pleased to highlight recent activities and publications by CanChild team members, and feature evidence-based concussion research in recognition of Brain Injury Awareness month. Additionally, we are thrilled to welcome back from Stockholm several researchers who presented at the International Conference on Cerebral Palsy and other Childhood-onset Disabilities!
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Brain Injury Awareness Month
June is Brain Injury Awareness month, so today we would like to highlight the work and resources at CanChild related to concussion and brain injury, and tell you how you can get involved in ongoing research. Concussion/mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) is a type of traumatic brain injury that may alter the way your brain functions. CanChild is actively engaged in research to learn more about how we can help children recover from mTBI and get safely back to school and play!

CanChild offers several evidence-based concussion management resources, including:
Want to get involved in concussion research at CanChild?
CanChild has an ongoing concussion study and we are actively recruiting!   Due to the limited public services in the community, this research study offers  a unique opportunity for children, youth and their family to receive:
  1. concussion management education;
  2. symptom and activity monitoring;
  3. balance & neurocognitive testing; and
  4. depression screening.
If you are (or know someone who is) between 5-18 years of age, have had a concussion within the last 12 months, are still experiencing concussion symptoms and can come to McMaster for an in-person assessment you might be eligible to take a part in this exciting research study! Please contact us at concuss@mcmaster.ca or (905) 525-9140 ext. 26842. You can learn more about our research study at here. More study details and preliminary results can also be found in our most recent newsletter.

In the News & Around the Web... 
Here at CanChild, June has been a very exciting month, not only did we have
several students, parents, and researchers present at the Internatio nal  Conference on Cerebral Palsy and other Childhood-onset Disabilities in Stockholm, we also officially announced the GMFM App! The app will allow clinicians and researchers alike to easily assess the motor function of children with Cerebral Palsy using all forms of the GMFM-88 and the GMFM-66 on a personal computer or their mobile devices. Featuring a user-friendly interface, easy-to-read reports, and non-PHI data exports, the GMFM App will be available for Windows, Mac OS, Android, and iOS - stayed turned for further updates and launch details!

CanChild members were well represented at the International Conference on Cerebral Palsy and other Childhood-onset Disabilities in Stockholm, with presentations on topics ranging from "Parents Participating in Research" to "Health and Aging in People with Cerebral Palsy." Congratulations to those researchers who participated: John Cairney Chantal Camden Lisa Chiarello Darcy Fehlings Jan Willem Gorter ,  Adrienne Harvey Christine Imms Marjolijn Ketelaar Gillian King , Niina Kolehmainen Lena Krumlinde-Sundholm Tram Nguyen Iona Novak Eva Nordmark Bob Palisano Dianne Russell Keiko Shikako-Thomas  and  Olaf Verschuren.
Featured this month as a guest blogger for Evidently Cochrane is CanChild's international collaborator Chris Morris. In his blog, written for a new series "Evidence for Everyday Allied Health" (#EEAH), he encourages the role of evidence-based practice in the everyday practice of orthotists, identifying barriers and solutions to these barriers that may be applicable to other health service providers.
Featured Tools of the Month: Participation and Environment Measures (PEM)

The PEM-CY is a measure that evaluates participation in the home, at school, and in the community, alongside environmental factors within each of these settings. The PEM-CY can be used for children and youth between the ages of 5 to 17 years-old, with or without disabilities. 

It is available as a downloadable PDF.  Licensing for the online survey version of PEM-CY is sold separately.

The YC-PEM is a parent-completed measure that looks at the different activities of children aged 0-5 years by evaluating the level of participation and qualities of the environment in which these activities take place. The results are then to be shared with the child's health professional and therapy team to determine any adjustments to be made to help reach goals. 

This is a downloadable PDF. Licensing for the online survey version of the YC-PEM is sold separately.

Recent Publications by CanChild Members
Over fifteen percent of youth have a disability or chronic health condition. More than half of these youth experience challenges and inadequate support during their transition from pediatric to adult healthcare. More involvement from their primary care provider might help ease the transition. However, the exact role of primary care providers in supporting the transition remains unclear. This systematic review sought to determine effective interventions to improve the role of primary care providers in the transition from pediatric to adult healthcare. Only three articles met their inclusion criteria. None of these articles contained information about all aspects of the triple aim framework (experience of care, population health, and cost). This review highlights the need for more studies to improve integration of primary and specialized care during the transition of youth with chronic health conditions.  

AuthorsBhawra J, Toulany A, Cohen E, Moore Hepburn C, Guttmann A. BMJ Open. 2016;6(5):e011871. DOI:10.1136/bmjopen-2016-011871

Determining the functional ability of children and infants with CP can be very challenging, particularly during the early years. In older children (4-18 years old) the Manual Ability Classification System (MACS) describes how children with CP use their hands during daily activities. Given that there is a rapid development of manual ability during the first few years of life, it was hypothesized that the MACS would need modifications to apply to the younger age group. By making adjustments to the MACS, researchers developed the Mini-MACS. To validate it one parent and two occupational therapists classified 61 children likely to develop CP aged 12 to 51 months. Agreement between the parents and the therapists was good, as was the agreement between the two therapists. Most parents and therapists found the descriptions in the Mini-MACS appropriate and easy to understand. The researchers concluded that the Mini-MACS was suitable for children ages 1-4 years.

Authors: Eliasson A, Ullenhag A, Wahlström U, Krumlinde-Sundholm L. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology. 2016. DOI: 10.1111/dmcn.13162

Many adolescents have mental health conditions and require care, but not enough of these adolescents access mental health services. Ethnoculturally diverse communities have unique needs when it comes to accessing mental health services. Interventions including a parent or family component delay the onset of at-risk behaviors (e.g. substance use and unsafe sex) among adolescents. This review looked at studies that had programs for parents from ethnoculturally diverse communities. Successful interventions had two key themes: strengthening parent-adolescent relationships through communication, and community engagement in designing and implementing the intervention. However, there is little research performed on programs targeting parents of diverse backgrounds. Given the increase in diversity within Canada and the need for successful access to mental health services, it is important that programs targeting parents be developed or modified to best support these diverse communities.

Authors: Ruiz-Casares M, Drummond J, Beeman I, Lach L. Parenting for the promotion of adolescent mental health: a scoping review of programmes targeting ethnoculturally diverse families. Health & Social Care in the Community. 2016.
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