Pediatric Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Significant Accomplishments

Research Advances Understanding of Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in children. However, there is a lack of evidence-based interventions to guide management of the sequelae of TBI. Brad Kurowski, MD, MS, and Shari Wade, PhD, have developed research collaborations nationally and across the institution to narrow this knowledge gap. Kurowski and Wade recently published results in the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation and Pediatrics of a multi-center study evaluating the efficacy of web-based counselor-assisted problem solving for management of cognitive and behavioral sequelae of pediatric TBI. Kurowski also has obtained a five-year NIH grant to study the efficacy of methylphenidate for managing attention problems after moderate to severe TBI in children. He also collaborated in 2013 with Pediatric Research Imaging Center investigators, Gregory Lee, PhD, and Kim Cecil, PhD, and sports physical therapists, Jason Hugentobler, PT, DPT, CSCS and Catherine Quatman-Yates, PT, DPT, PhD, to obtain funding through the Ohio Department of Public Safety and Cincinnati Children’s Trustees grant program to study the benefits and biologic correlates of aerobic exercise in managing pediatric post-concussion syndrome.

Three Studies Explore Brain Injury Recovery

Our Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Interventions for Pediatric TBI, under Wade’s direction, is enrolling patients in three multi-center randomized clinical trials addressing cognitive and behavioral consequences post-TBI. Kurowski and Wade also are collaborating with Lynn Babcock, MD, Emergency Medicine, to develop and test an innovative web-based intervention to facilitate recovery following mild TBI.

Collaborations Lead to Higher Volumes

Under Kurowski’s leadership, we have continued clinical collaboration with the divisions of Sports Medicine, Neurology, Emergency Medicine, Trauma Surgery, Neurosurgery, and Behavioral Medicine to develop improved outpatient care models for children with TBIs. Through the work of this interdisciplinary group, the outpatient TBI program continues to grow at a rapid pace. Outpatient visits increased to over 1,900 visits this past year, which represents a 34 percent increase. Bridging research and clinical initiatives will be imperative to optimize care of children after TBI.