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The Effectiveness of Notable SCI Outcomes in Children and Adolescents

TIRR Memorial Hermann is one of seven research sites across the country selected to participate in a clinical trial designed to establish the lower age limit, reliability and validity of outcomes instruments used routinely in spinal cord injury clinical trials. Funded by the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, the three-year study will include 15 participants from TIRR Memorial Hermann who will be part of a larger national sample of 225.

“The results will potentially allow for the inclusion of children and adolescents in important clinical trials that may lead to better outcomes for them and provide methods to evaluate treatment effectiveness in this population,” says Heather Taylor, Ph.D., director of the Spinal Cord Injury Disability and Research Center at TIRR Memorial Hermann and co-investigator, with Glendaliz Bosques, M.D., at the Houston site. “We’re pleased to have physical therapy working with us on the study and plan to propose more studies in conjunction with physical therapists.”

Participants’ commitment to the study is short – at the most five or six hours. “We’re progressing well and hope more people will enroll because it’s a good and easy way to contribute to our knowledge of spinal cord injury in pediatric patients,” says Kristine Higgins, PT, NCS, a senior physical therapist at TIRR Memorial Hermann, who is recruiting and screening participants for potential inclusion. “Children who participate may also discover that they can perform tasks more independently than they thought they could.”

The study will include a medical chart review, interviews with parents and evaluations of children with arm weakness. Children who are able to walk will be asked to walk a short distance for evaluation.

To learn more, please contact Kristine Higgins at (713) 383-5663 or email kristine.higgins@memorialhermann.org.