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First Ever Pediatric Rehabilitation Research and Training Center


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Children will be the focus of a new Rehabilitation Research and Training Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. For the first time in the 30 year history of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), the group has awarded a grant to create a center dedicated to pediatrics.

With the five-year, $4 million grant from NIDRR, researchers at Cincinnati Children’s, and five collaborating institutions, will build on existing research to find effective treatments for pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Each year, about 635,000 children between the ages of one and 19 in the United States sustain a brain injury that results in an emergency department visit, hospitalization or death.

“The effects of the injury are pervasive, and in many instances, chronic,” said Shari Wade, PhD, center director, “Up to this point, the research to establish long-term intervention protocols has been mainly small studies that, while promising, have small samples and are never adequately tested, replicated or disseminated.”

The center’s research will build on two intervention programs developed by Dr. Wade and one developed by McKay Sohlberg, PhD, at the University of Oregon.

Dr. Wade’s studies are focused on reducing behavior problems and improving child functioning in children of different ages. Dr. Sohlberg’s study involves strategies to manage attention problems caused by the injuries.

“From the initial research, we’re finding nice behavior improvements in teens with TBI as well as improvements in family functioning,” says Dr. Wade. “Dr. Sohlberg’s research in adults has demonstrated improved attention and cognitive performance with attention training and we hope to find that it will be an effective treatment for pediatric patients as well.”

These intervention approaches to reduce the long-term consequences of pediatric TBI will be tested through large scale clinical trials involving: The Children’s Hospital, Denver; Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus; Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland; and Western Oregon University, Monmouth.

About Cincinnati Children’s

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center is one of 10 children’s hospitals in the United States to make the Honor Roll in U.S. News and World Reports 2009-10 America’s Best Children’s Hospitals issue. It is #1 ranked for digestive disorders and is also highly ranked for its expertise in respiratory diseases, cancer, neonatal care, heart care, neurosurgery, diabetes, orthopedics, kidney disorders and urology. One of the three largest children’s hospitals in the U.S., Cincinnati Children’s is affiliated with the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and is one of the top two recipients of pediatric research grants from the National Institutes of Health.

President Barack Obama in June 2009 cited Cincinnati Children’s as an “island of excellence” in health care. For its achievements in transforming health care, Cincinnati Children’s is one of six U.S. hospitals since 2002 to be awarded the American Hospital Association-McKesson Quest for Quality Prize for leadership and innovation in quality, safety and commitment to patient care. The hospital is a national and international referral center for complex cases. Additional information can be found at www.cincinnatichildrens.org

Contact Information

Kate Setter, 513-636-1297, katherine.setter@cchmc.org