CanChild Website

November 6, 2012
CanChild Today

CanChild Today features CanChild research and resources that address child health issues important to children and youth, their families and service providers. In this issue, we have highlighted recently published articles by CanChild scientists, research associates, international collaborators, Post Doctoral Fellows, and PhD students. As well, we have provided links to new resources on the CanChild website (

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New Resources on CanChild's website (!
Preschool children can prevent unhealthy weight gain by staying active and eating right. In this Preschooler Focus newsletter, the Child Health & Exercise Medicine Program at McMaster University outlines how to help young children lead a healthy lifestyle and develop a healthy body. Click to view.

Move and PLAY Study Summaries
Four Move and PLAY research summaries for parents and therapists are now available on the website: Conceptual Model of the Move and PLAY Study; Health Conditions of Children with Cerebral Palsy; Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM), New Shortened Versions; and Recreation and Rehabilitation Services. Three new measures used in the study are also available: the Early Activity Scale for Endurance, the Early Clinical Assessment of Balance, and the Child Health Conditions Questionnaire. In addition, the study team's presentations which have been given around the world can be accessed here. Click to read more about the Move & PLAY dissemination materials in English, and in French.

New Gross Motor Ability Estimator (GMAE-2) Available!
The GMAE-2 is a software package for scoring the Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM), a measure used to evaluate the gross motor function of children with cerebral palsy. The GMAE-2 should be used in conjunction with the User's Manual which provides information about how to administer, score and interpret results of the GMFM. Click here to read about the new features in the GMAE-2, and to access a step by step tutorial to walk you through the program setup, and steps to enter therapist and client information!
Recent Publications by CanChild Scientists, Research Associates, International Collaborators, Post Doctoral Fellows & PhD Students
The purpose of this article recently published in the Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy was to systematically review the evidence regarding the use of technology to support written productivity in children with learning disabilities. The authors conclude there is some low level evidence demonstrating positive influence on the quality of written text, organizing, transcription, and revising. Technology combined with instruction yields the most positive results, and collaborating with peers seems beneficial when using technology for composing or revising. Technology motivates children and enhances their opportunities to practice writing. Authors: B Batorowicz, C Missiuna, N Pollock. Abstract.

This study describes the nature and frequency of behavioral difficulties in adolescents with cerebral palsy and explores associated factors. Participants' motor and cognitive abilities, functional status, as well as parental stress were evaluated. Behavioral attitudes were measured with the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire that was completed by parents of the participants. Behavioral difficulties were present in 37% of the adolescents, with peer problems the most frequently reported (62%). Behavioral difficulties were particularly frequent in adolescents with greater functional limitations. Behavioral challenges that are presented at school-age were also present in adolescence. The findings indicate the importance of addressing behavioral attitudes in interventions with this population. Recently e-published in the Journal of Child Neurology. Authors: M Brossard-Racine, J Waknin, K Shikako-Thomas, M Shevell, C Poulin, L Lach, M Law, N Schmitz, the QUALA Group, A Majnemer. Abstract.

Clinical Prognostic Messages From a Systematic Review on Cerebral Palsy
Recently published in Pediatrics, this review summarizes the evidence on the rates of co-occurring impairments, diseases, and functional limitations with cerebral palsy. From this review of prevalence studies, there is high-quality grade evidence that among children with cerebral palsy: 1 in 3 could not walk; 1 in 4 could not talk; 1 in 4 had epilepsy; and 1 in 25 were deaf. There is moderate-quality evidence that 3 in 4 were in pain; 1 in 2 had an intellectual disability; 1 in 3 had a hip displacement; 1 in 4 had a behavior disorder; 1 in 4 had bladder control problems; 1 in 5 dribbled; 1 in 10 were blind; 1 in 15 were tube-fed. There is low-quality evidence that 1 in 5 had a sleep disorder. This information may give clinicians more evidence to support the provision of clear, prognostic messages. Authors: I Novak, M Hines, S Goldsmith, R Barclay. Full access!

Specifying content and mechanisms of change in interventions to change professionals' practice: An illustration from the Good Goals study in occupational therapy
This methodology paper from the Good Goals study reports methods for specifying practice-change interventions. The methods include: (1) identifying and selecting practice change techniques from a matrix of behaviour change techniques and using a coding manual to define the techniques; (2) working with a team of therapists to generated context-relevant, acceptable modes of delivery for the techniques; and (3) formulating explicit hypotheses about the mechanisms through which the techniques are thought to change practice. The project provides an example of systematic development of an implementation intervention to change practice and is likely to have applicability to other projects aiming to develop ways to improve service delivery. Published in Implementation Science. Also, click here to link to the Good Goals Study facebook page! Authors: N Kolehmainen, JJ Francis. Full access!

Limb length differences after obstetrical brachial plexus injury: A growing concern
A prospective cohort of 179 children with obstetrical brachial plexus injury was systematically evaluated for limb length and girth by a multidisciplinary team in Hamilton, Canada. Clinical measurements were obtained at regular intervals on nine occasions. A control group of typically developing children aged 6 months to 17 years had limb length and girth measured on one occasion. Significant differences between affected and unaffected sides in arm, forearm, and total length were found as early as the 1-month measurement and at most other time points. This early detection of differences may be another important indicator of severity and contribute to surgical decision making. Published recently in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Authors: JR Bain, C DeMatteo, D Gjertsen, T Packham, V Galea, JA Harper. Abstract.
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