Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine - Volume 14, issue 4
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The Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine (JPRM): An Interdisciplinary Approach Throughout the Lifespan is designed to parallel the multidisciplinary teams caring for children, adolescents and adults with childhood-onset physical disabilities and complex care needs worldwide. Published quarterly, topics include, and are not limited to, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, spina bifida, limb deficiency, muscular dystrophy, stroke, cancer, developmental delays, and rare disorders. Furthermore, the journal welcomes papers dedicated to pediatric rehabilitation from a global health perspective.
The aim of JPRM is to engage a diverse group of international experts with the goal of providing readers with comprehensive information regarding children and adolescents requiring rehabilitation. JPRM brings together specialists from medicine, nursing, psychology, social work, nutrition, child life, family centered care, and occupational, physical, and speech therapy. For manuscript submissions, authorship involving at least two different specialties is encouraged, although not required, to facilitate a transdisciplinary and collaborative approach. Manuscripts are blinded and peer reviewed including biostatistical analysis. Authors are invited to submit original research, systematic and scoping reviews, guidelines, protocols, care pathways, case reports, book reviews, commentaries, editorials, and dates for future conferences.
Abstract: Worldwide neural tube defects, such as encephalocele and spina bifida (SB), remain a substantial cause of the global burden of disease; and in the US, Latinos consistently have a higher birth prevalence of SB compared with other ethnic groups. From limited access and fragmented care, to scarcely available adult services, many are the challenges that besiege those living with SB. Thus, to provide inclusion and active involvement of parents of children and adults with SB from all communities, innovative approaches will be required, such as community-based participatory research and culturally competent learning collaboratives . Promisingly, the Spina Bifida Community-Centered…Research Agenda was developed by the community of people living with SB through the Spina Bifida Association (SBA). Additionally, the SBA will host the Fourth World Congress on Spina Bifida Research and Care in March of 2023. Just as the SBA is clearly committed to this population, the Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine will continue to serve as a catalyst for SB care, education, and research across the SB population in a global context.
Keywords: Myelomeningocele, community-based participatory research, care coordination, minority health, health disparities, learning collaboratives, global health
Abstract: PURPOSE: To investigate the: (1) percent of children with spina bifida (SB) complaining of pain, (2) frequency, duration, and cause of pain by sex, level of lesion type of SB, and ambulation status, (3) body sites reported to hurt, by variables in objective 2, and (4) associations between physical and mental/emotional health between caregiver and child. METHODS: Cross-sectional study of 101 caregivers of children (3 to 6 years old) with SB. Survey data and information from medical records were included. Pearson chi-square, one-way ANOVA, Fisher’s exact test, logistic regressions, and bivariate correlations were used. RESULTS: Seventy…percent reported that their child complained of pain, which did not significantly differ by sex, level of lesion, type of SB, or ambulation status. Most (86%) were reported to have experienced pain for less than 24 hours. The most frequently reported pain site was the head, followed by the abdomen and the lower body. Number of pain sites was moderately correlated with frequency of pain complaints. Correlations between how caregivers reported their own physical/mental/emotional health and how they rated that of their children ranged from weak (r = 0.22) to moderate (r = 0.55). CONCLUSION: Almost seven of ten children reportedly complained of pain ranging from at least once a month to everyday. Pain needs to be routinely assessed and treated in this population.
Abstract: PURPOSE: The purpose of this longitudinal study was to evaluate the internal consistency reliability and construct validity of the Adolescent/Young Adult Self-Management and Independence Scale-II (AMIS-II), an interview-based measure of self-management for youth with chronic health conditions. METHODS: A diverse sample of adolescents and young adults (AYA) with spina bifida (SB) (n = 64 AYA; mean 20.88; age range 18–25 years) completed an AMIS-II interview. Six years earlier, parents from 55 families completed questionnaires that assessed children’s responsibility for SB-related care (Sharing of Spina Bifida Management Responsibilities ) and their ability to perform skills across condition-related tasks (The Spina…Bifida Independence Survey ). Parents also reported on child’s communication skills, adaptive behaviors, and independent management of finances (Adaptive Behavior Assessment System-Second Edition ; Scales of Independent Behavior-Revised ). Descriptive and correlational analyses were conducted to assess the construct validity and the internal consistency reliability of the AMIS-II. RESULTS: The AMIS-II demonstrated excellent internal consistency reliability (AMIS-II total scale α = 0.95; subscales α = 0.90 –0.91). Evidence in support of construct validity was found in associations between the AMIS-II and measures of child responsibility for SB-related care, ability to perform condition-related skills, and adaptive behaviors (r ’s = 0.378 –0.777; p’s < 0.05). CONCLUSION: This study provides further evidence of strong reliability and validity for the AMIS-II. Additional research with this measure will facilitate a better understanding of factors related to self-management behaviors in adolescents and young adults with spina bifida.
Keywords: Self-management, independence, adolescents, young adults, spina bifida, parents
Abstract: PURPOSE: Post-operative complication rates may vary among racial and/or ethnic groups and have not been previously described in individuals with spina bifida (SB) undergoing urologic surgery. The aim of this study was to compare in-hospital complication frequencies of individuals with SB following urologic surgery by race/ethnicity. METHODS: The Nationwide Inpatient Sample was used to identify pediatric patients with SB who underwent inpatient urologic procedures. A pediatric cohort (<18 years old) with SB that underwent urologic surgery were assessed. All analyses report weighted descriptive statistics, outcomes, and race/ethnicity was the primary predictor variable. The primary outcome of interest was…post-operative complications which were defined using NSQIP ICD-9 code definitions. Secondary analysis included length of stay (LOS), and encounter cost was estimated using the cost-to-charge ratio files provided by the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. RESULTS: The unadjusted model showed no differences in complications, LOS, and cost. In the adjusted model there were no differences in complications, LOS, and cost between Black and White encounters. However, Hispanic ethnicity was associated with a 20%(95%CI: 4–40%) increase in LOS and 18%(95%CI: 2–35%, p = 0.02) increase in cost compared to White encounters. CONCLUSION: There was no evidence of variation for in-hospital complication rates among racial/ethnic groups undergoing urologic surgery. Hispanic ethnicity was associated with higher costs and longer LOS in pediatric SB encounters.
Keywords: Spina bifida, pediatric, complication, urology, surgery
Abstract: PURPOSE: Transitional care for adolescents with complex diseases, who are entering adulthood, is challenging. The purpose of this study is to quantify the disease and medication burden of this population, who are transitioning though an interdisciplinary specialty clinic. METHODS: This study is a retrospective observational study of all patients seen in a transitional care clinic between July 2012 and March 2015. The main outcomes assessed included disease state and medication burden. Descriptive statistics, along with the paired t-test and McNemar’s test, were used. RESULTS: The study cohort included 216 patients. The median patient age was 20.7…years, and the median number of clinic encounters was 6. Patients had at least 1 of 8 primary diagnoses. On average, patients took medications from 5 classes and used 3 dose forms. Among 163 patients who had medication reconciliation performed, the average number of medication classes increased by 0.44±1.53 (p = 0.0003). There was an average increase of 3.70%(SD±36.31%; p = 0.27) in the number of required medication lab assessments ordered for patients who had medication reconciliation performed. CONCLUSION: There is a high disease and medication burden among adolescent patients with complex disease states who are to transition to adult care.
Keywords: Complex care, pharmacist, polypharmacy, transitions
Abstract: PURPOSE: To assess hand dexterity in children with myelomeningocele (MMC) and to explore factors related to hand dexterity in these children. METHODS: Ninety-four children with myelomeningocele, aged 4 to 18 years, were assessed. Demographic characteristics, disease factors, visual perception (Beery test of Visual Motor Integration), cognition (WeeFunctional Independence Measure), and self-care (Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory) were assessed in relation to the Nine-Hole Peg Test (9HPT) for hand dexterity using Spearmen correlations and linear regressions. RESULTS: The children’s performance on the 9HPT in both hands was significantly slower than the norms for their age groups. Children…without a shunt showed significantly better function in both hands (p = .005) than those with a shunt. Factors most related to hand dexterity were neurological spinal level of MMC, presence of shunt, age, cognitive ability, and years of mother’s education. CONCLUSION: Children with MMC appear to have poorer hand skills than typically developed children, which was related to pathology as well as functional and environmental factors. When addressing hand dexterity in children with MMC, it is important that rehabilitation professionals continue to work with these children as they get older, and put greater emphasis on parent education using materials that are adapted to varying educational levels.
Keywords: Myelomeningocele, fine motor dexterity, hydrocephalus, cognition
Abstract: PURPOSE: To identify the accuracy of Body Mass Index (BMI) to categorize body weight in a sample of children with spina bifida and Down syndrome as compared to typically developing peers. METHODS: A secondary analysis of 32 children with spina bifida, Down syndrome or no chronic illness. A calculated BMI was plotted on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention age- and sex-specific BMI growth charts to determine each child’s weight status. Percentage of body fat, obtained by labeled water, was plotted on two different body fat percentile reference curves, one derived from a whole body measure (DXA)…of body fat and one by skin-fold measure. Differences in weight categories between calculated BMI and body fat percentile curves were reported. RESULTS: The calculated BMI for children with a disability had significant misclassifications as a screening tool for body fat when compared to children without a disability. Misclassifications were increased with the body fat percentile reference curve derived from skin-fold measures and for children who primarily used a wheelchair. CONCLUSION: The current recommendation to use BMI to categorize weight status is not useful for many children with disabilities. Further research to identify an alternative pragmatic strategy is necessary.
Keywords: Developmental disabilities, spina bifida, down syndrome, body mass index, obesity
Abstract: PURPOSE: To determine characteristics associated with self-management independence and quality of life (QOL) among adolescents and young adults with spina bifida (AYASB) engaged in a spina bifida (SB) health care transition clinic. METHODS: During SB transition visits, Eighty-eight AYASB ages 14-20 completed the Adolescent/Young Adult Self-management and Independence Scale II Self-Report/SB (AMIS II-SR/SB), scores ranging from 1–7 with 7 indicating full independence in activities, and the QUAlity of Life Assessment in Spina bifida for Teens (QUALAS-T), which has two subscales, family/independence (QFI) and bowel/bladder (QBB), with scores ranging from 0-100 with 100 indicating maximal QOL score. Demographic and…clinical variables were collected from the electronic medical record. RESULTS: The baseline AMIS II-SR/SB score was 3.3 (SD 1.0). Baseline scores for QUALAS-T QFI and QBB subscales were 73.8 (SD 19.9) and 63.8 (SD 25.8). Older age was associated with a higher baseline AMIS II-SR/SB score (p = 0.017). Over time, AMIS II-SR/SB total significantly improved (p < 0.001), but QFI and QBB did not. AYASB not on chronic intermittent catheterization (CIC) and those using urethral CIC significantly improved in AMIS II-SR/SB total scores (p = 0.001), but those using abdominal channel CIC did not. CONCLUSION: Baseline bladder management method was associated with self-management improvement for AYASB engaged in a SB-specific transition clinic.
Keywords: Spina bifida, myelomeningocele, evidence-based medicine, minority health, transition to adult care
Abstract: PURPOSE: Despite an increasing number of individuals with spina bifida reaching reproductive age, there has been a paucity of research into their reproductive health care needs. The objective of this study was to better understand the reproductive health experiences of self-identified women with spina bifida using qualitative methodology. METHODS: A phenomenological study design was used to address this objective. Women with spina bifida identified their interest in participating in a semi-structured interview after completing an online reproductive health survey. Interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Qualitative analysis followed a phenomenological approach using Dedoose software. RESULTS: Twelve…self-identified women with spina bifida participated. They described experiences in four domains: sexual education, pregnancy, labor and delivery, and postpartum. In addition, an intersecting domain of social justice and advocacy emerged. Numerous themes are described, including a lack of tailored sexual health information, impact of pregnancy on function, attitudes towards delivery method, and parenting challenges. CONCLUSION: This study explored the continuum of reproductive health experiences of women with spina bifida. They face unique reproductive health challenges that provide an opportunity for health care providers to offer more holistic care.
Keywords: Pregnancy, spina bifida, disability, myelomeningocele, women’s health
Abstract: PURPOSE: To characterize common clinical indications for urodynamic, a bladder function test, in adults with spina bifida. METHODS: A retrospective chart review was performed for 215 patients seen in an adult multidisciplinary spina bifida clinic who were registered with the National Spina Bifida Patient Registry from October 2011 to October 2018. Descriptive statistics were used for statistical comparisons. RESULTS: A total of 52 of 215 patients developed a clinical indication for urodynamics. Of these, 71 (33%) patients (8 of whom underwent testing twice) had urodynamics performed, resulting in a total of 79 urodynamic…study encounters that were analyzed. Thirty-four (43%) urodynamic testing cases were performed due to a symptomatic change in lower urinary tract function; 14 (18%) were due to declining renal function or concern for upper tract deterioration based on imaging. The data obtained from urodynamic investigation led to new recommendations for urinary tract management in 59 (75%) of the urodynamic studies performed. A total of 32 of the 90 (35%) recommendations made were surgical interventions and 30 (33%) were for a change in medical management. Interestingly, 8 of the 18 (44%) routine or baseline urodynamic tests performed led to new recommendations in urinary tract management. CONCLUSION: A total of 24%of patients in the multidisciplinary spina bifida clinic developed an indication for urodynamic testing over a 7-year period which resulted in new recommendations for urinary tract management in most. As more patients with spina bifida enter adulthood, the indications for urodynamic evaluation may become more defined, since the results often lead to alterations in bladder management.
Keywords: Spinal bifida, urodynamics, transitional care
Abstract: PURPOSE: The objective of this study was to analyze the effects on patient access by decreasing missed appointments after hiring a clinic coordinator using medical informatics. METHODS: A single-center retrospective analysis of the rates of missed appointments before and after hiring a clinic coordinator in a multidisciplinary spinal differences clinic were analyzed using a commercially available business software system (SAP® Business Objects). The total number of clinic visits was collected for each month to determine the access available for patients. RESULTS: The median number of missed appointments per clinic by month before employing the clinic coordinator…was higher than in the two years following implementation (p < 0.0005). No differences were seen in the number of available appointment slots per month indicating no new clinics were needed to improve patient access (p = 0.551). Projected billing amounts prior to hiring the clinic coordinator indicated that $91,520 was lost in the 2 years prior to hiring this coordinator compared to $30,160 lost during the 2 years following the creation of this position (p = 0.0009). CONCLUSION: Hiring a clinic coordinator decreased the rate of missed appointments and was a cost-efficient intervention to improve patient access and provide effective patient care in a multidisciplinary setting.
Abstract: PURPOSE: Children with myelomeningocele are known to be consumers of substantial healthcare resources, with many early hospital encounters. The purpose of this study was to survey the extent of medical and surgical care that patients with myelomeningocele receive during the first four years of life. METHODS: Clinical and demographic data were collected on newborn infants with open myelomeningocele from the Children’s of Alabama Spina Bifida Web Tracker, a prospective, comprehensive spina bifida database. Additional data pertaining to all hospital admissions, surgical procedures, and clinic visits were collected from the medical record. RESULTS: One…hundred and fourteen subjects with a primary diagnosis of myelomeningocele between 2004 and 2015 were included. Males slightly predominated (55%), 61.4% were Caucasian, 11% Hispanic/Latino; 28% had a mid-lumbar functional lesion level. Over the first four years of life, 688 total surgical procedures were performed (an average of 86 per child): 438 in year 1, 100 in year 2, 84 in year 3, and 66 in year 4. The mean number of hospital visits was 40.5. Total average drive time per patient over 4 years being 103.8 hours. Average number of nights spent in the hospital was 51. CONCLUSION: Children with myelomeningocele need multiple hospitalizations, surgeries, and medical encounters in the first 4 years of life. These data will be valuable when counselling new parents and prospective parents of children with this condition.
Keywords: Spina bifida, myelomeningocele, pediatrics, scope of care
Abstract: PURPOSE: Neurogenic bowel dysfunction (NBD) affects 80% of individuals with spina bifida. Performing and disseminating research on NBD to reach the appropriate audience is difficult given the variability among medical specialties managing NBD. This study aimed to identify which medical specialties and types of providers are currently managing NBD in the United States. METHODS: A survey was developed and sent to 75 spina bifida clinics. Surveys queried which specialty was primarily responsible for medical and surgical management of NBD and any others that assist in NBD care. The license and certification level of the providers were collected. Descriptive…statistics were performed to describe the results. RESULTS: Response rate was 68%. Urology was the leading specialty primarily responsible for NBD management (39%) followed by rehabilitation medicine and developmental pediatrics (22% and 20%, respectively). Physicians were the primary providers of care followed by nurse practitioners (54% vs 31%). Urology performs 65% of NBD surgeries. CONCLUSION: Multiple specialties and providers are involved in NBD management with variation among clinics. Development of improved NBD care should include a spectrum of specialties and providers. Dissemination of research should be aimed at multiple specialty groups.
Abstract: PURPOSE: The objective of this study was to describe the knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to caring for youth with SB within a statewide pediatric primary care medical home network. METHODS: Health care professionals who were members of the Pennsylvania Medical Home Program (PAMHP) statewide network were surveyed on sociological demographics, confidence in and knowledge of topics that impact the spina bifida (SB) population, education on SB, designating responsibility of care, tasks completed in the office, and transition from pediatric to adult care from October 2016 through November 2016. RESULTS: Among 67 respondents, 78%believed counseling families/caregivers…about the impact of SB on everyday life was a shared responsibility between primary care physicians (PCP) and SB clinics. Eighty five percent of participants indicated they had exposure to SB through clinical courses or didactics in training but only 54%of participants felt knowledgeable on the impact of SB on everyday life. CONCLUSION: Findings suggest a need for increased educational efforts, improved awareness of SB, and access to evidence-based guidelines for PCPs to promote accessible and coordinated care to individuals with SB.
Keywords: Patient-centered care, spina bifida, spinal dysraphism, transitional care
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has posed distinctive challenges to adolescents and young adults living with spina bifida, especially those from ethic minority populations. With this public health challenge in mind, developing a customized electronic health record to leverage registry data to promote and quantify COVID-19 vaccination uptake among this population is feasible. We provide a brief description of our activities in customizing an electronic health record to track vaccination uptake among adolescents and young adults with spina bifida (AYASB); and the lessons learned, in hopeful support of those scaling-up vaccination delivery across the globe for AYASB as they transition to adult-centered…care. Thus, as providers think globally and act locally, COVID-19 immunization efforts can be implemented while providing culturally appropriate transition policies and services for individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities.
Keywords: Transition to adult-centered care, spina bifida, care coordination, COVID-19, mental health, health disparities, blue-marble health, SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, quality improvement