Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine - Volume Pre-press, issue Pre-press
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The Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine (JPRM): An Interdisciplinary Approach 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: Over 80% of the children in the world have had their education impacted by COVID-19. For children with disabilities who receive special education services, access to in-person education and other resources at school is particularly important. The American Academy of Pediatrics advocates for students to attend school in person, without specifics for how children with disabilities can safely return to school. To appropriately plan and accommodate children with disabilities we must prioritize safety, allow for adherence to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and preserve essential school staff. The less cumbersome default of confining students with disabilities to home is…not acceptable. We provide an outline describing why Individual Education Plans and 504 plans are important, how they are related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and recommendations for measures to help with safe return to school for children with disabilities.
Keywords: Disability pediatric rehabilitation, children, school, education, COVID-19, health equity
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated many changes in medicine including the transition from providing care in person to providing care via technology enabled telemedicine. The benefits of telemedicine visits with a Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine (PRM) provider, also known as telerehabilitation medicine visits, are numerous. Telerehabilitation medicine provides an opportunity to deliver timely, patient and family-centric rehabilitation care while maintaining physical distance and reducing potential COVID-19 exposure for our patients, their caregivers and medical providers. Telerehabilitation medicine also allows for access to PRM care in rural areas or areas without medical specialty, virtual in-home equipment evaluation, and reduced travel burden. Because…of these and many other benefits, telerehabilitation medicine will likely become part of our ongoing model of care if barriers to telemedicine continue to be lowered or removed. This paper is intended to establish a foundation for pediatric telerehabilitation medicine visit efficiency and effectiveness in our current environment and into the future.
Abstract: Respiratory dysfunction is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in individuals with cerebral palsy (CP). In children and adults with CP, movement and physical function is always affected. Yet, many clinicians overlook potential for impaired movement and function of the diaphragm muscle (DIAm) in individuals with CP. Since individuals with pre-existing respiratory disorders are at greater risk for respiratory complications if they contract COVID-19, understanding potential risks to individuals with CP is important. In this review we present research on respiratory function and DIAm force generation in children with CP. We compare this clinical work to basic science research…investigating phrenic motor neuron and DIAm motor unit dysfunction in an animal model with CP symptoms, the spa mouse. Finally, we integrate the clinical and basic science work in respiratory function in CP, discussing potential for individuals with CP to have severe respiratory symptoms from COVID-19.
Keywords: Diaphragm, cerebral palsy, respiratory, motor neuron, COVID-19
Abstract: The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic triggered wide scale implementation of telemedicine in the United States. The government response, Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, permitted loosening of existing restrictions on telemedicine enabling its rapid incorporation into the delivery of medical care for children and adults. Prior to COVID-19, few pediatric physiatrists had opportunities to access high fidelity telemedicine platforms to provide health care for patients with special needs, mobility impairments, developmental delays, neuromuscular disorders or other complex medical conditions. This literature review will explore how telemedicine can optimize health care delivery options for pediatric physiatrists in various inpatient and…outpatient settings such as consultations, acute inpatient units, outpatient clinics and long-term care facilities. Detailed analysis of the current research in telemedicine applications as well as a critical review of the limitations and barriers for its use offers a plethora of opportunities for enhancement of continuity and coordination of care. Telemedicine may decrease healthcare disparities and increase access of care for children with special needs. Additional research is needed to assess the efficacy of telemedicine when addressing complex medical conditions in children.
Keywords: Telemedicine, physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R), pediatric rehabilitation medicine (PRM), pediatric physiatrist, COVID-19, CARES Act, children with special needs
Abstract: PURPOSE: Although the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM) is used with children, it is unclear how they and their parents experience this. This study aims to investigate the opinions of children and their parents about the COPM when it is used with children. METHODS: Semi-structured interviews were performed with 23 children varying in age between 8 and 18 years. The transcripts of the interviews were analysed using MAXQDA software to discover overarching themes. Parents’ responses to an eight-item multiple-choice questionnaire were analysed using SPSS software. RESULTS: Five themes extracted from the interviews with…the children show: My way of doing the COPM; The COPM shows my own problems and wishes for change; The COPM is important for identifying the support I need; The influence of my parents and my therapist; and The COPM is suitable for me. The children experienced the COPM as a valuable tool for determining and measuring the impact of an intervention. The parents experienced the COPM as suitable for their child and judged that the child’s scores were useful for showing the outcome of an intervention. CONCLUSION: Both the children and their parents valued the COPM as an outcome measure for intervention.
Abstract: Telemedicine has emerged as a vital tool for continuing to provide therapy to children with disabilities throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. While video visits have certain advantages, such as the ability to see the children in their home, they also have potential drawbacks, as some exam maneuvers and objective measurement tools cannot be performed virtually. The increased utilization of telemedicine also raises questions about access to care. Video visits can remove the transportation and time barriers that some families face. However, they raise new barriers, such as a requirement for home internet access and insurance coverage, that may…negatively impact access to care for certain patients. Moving forward, a combination of clinic and video visits in pediatric rehabilitation may be the best way to harness the advantages of both modalities while minimizing their disadvantages. Our article discusses issues relating to rehabilitation therapy delivered via virtual visits, but further study is needed to examine whether video visits achieve similar outcomes to clinic visits.
Keywords: Teletherapy, video visits, disabilities, pediatrics, access to care, pandemic, COVID-19
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating longstanding challenges facing children with tracheostomies and their families. Myriad ethical concerns arising in the long-term care of children with tracheostomies during COVID-19 revolve around inadequate access to care, healthcare resources, and rehabilitation services. Marginalized communities such as those from Black and Hispanic origins face disproportionate chronic illness because of racial and other underlying disparities. In this paper, we describe how these disparities also present challenges to children who are technology-dependent, such as those with tracheostomies and discuss the emerging ethical discourse regarding healthcare and resource access for this population during the pandemic.
Abstract: PURPOSE: Arthrogryposis multiplex congenita (AMC) refers to a large heterogeneous group of conditions involving joint contractures in two or more different areas of the body. Contractures can lead to decreased range of motion and strength, and affect ambulation and autonomy. The aim of this study was to describe the orthopedic interventions and functional outcomes of a large cohort of children with AMC followed in a pediatric orthopedic center. METHODS: A retrospective chart review of all children diagnosed with AMC followed at Shriners Hospital for Children – Canada (SHC) between January 1979 and July 2016 was conducted.…One hundred twenty patients were identified, of whom six were excluded due to misdiagnosis or insufficient chart information. One hundred fourteen were retained. Patient demographics, AMC classification, comorbidities, operative and non-operative treatments received as well as community ambulation status, level of autonomy in self-care and transfers at latest follow-up were recorded. RESULTS: There were 54 males and 60 females with a mean age at last clinic visit of 10 years 3 months. Amyoplasia and distal arthrogryposis (DA) were equally represented in our sample, 47 (41.2%) and 49 (43.0%) participants respectively, with the category Other comprising the remaining 18 (15.8%) participants. Children with DA had less involvement of the proximal joints than those in the two other groups. Contractures and deformities of the foot and ankle were the most prevalent, affecting 91.5% with Amyoplasia, 85.7% with DA and 83.3% in the Other category. Contractures of the shoulder and elbow were more common among individuals with Amyoplasia and those categorized Other than those with DA. In terms of walking ability, 98% of participants with DA were independent ambulators. Walking ability varied among the Other participants. Similarly, most children with DA were independent in self-care and transfers at the most recent follow-up. CONCLUSION: The relatively large sample size of this study allowed for a better insight into the challenges associated with AMC management. These findings demonstrated the need for genetic testing to provide accurate diagnosis and classification, along with the use of standardized outcome tools to measure effectiveness of interventions. As AMC is rare, multi-site prospective studies are needed to improve research opportunities, develop functional measures specific to AMC and disseminate findings on a wider scale.