Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Another Conductive Education evaluation

Funding glitch

Those who attended the ACENA conference in Grand Rapids MI in August 2007 heard in detail about the proposed evaluation project planned by paediatrician Nigel Paneth, Madeleine Lenski, Sukyeong Pi and Ken Frank from the Department of Epidemiology at Michigan State University. Unfortunately Conductive Education conferences rarely produce published proceeding so few others in the Conductive World know about this.

The Michigan project is planned to be a ‘scientifically rigorous and independent evaluation of the effectiveness of conductive education and ‘to help guide parents, cerebral palsy care providers, and policy-makers’:

Effective intervention that improves the lives of children with CP and reduces their dependence on caregivers and other resources may prove to be a cost-effective investment for health care insurers, schools, and publicly funded programs addressing disabilities.

To achieve this, the study proposes the following design:

CEEP is a randomized, controlled trial with a target sample of 80 children with CP ages 2- 6. Health and cognitive abilities must be appropriate for classroom instruction. CEEP pays tuition for one 4-week session at the Conductive Learning Center of Grand Rapids, Michigan. A modified cross-over design allows all enrollees to receive the intervention. Functional and school readiness outcomes are assessed by independent physical therapists and through parental questionnaires. Data from Gross Motor Function Measure, Quality FM, Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory, Manual Ability Classification System, Communication Function Classification System, Devereux Early Childhood Assessment and other qualitative reports will be analyzed using various statistical methods. We will compare outcomes of children who receive CE with those of children at similar CP severity levels who receive their usual CP services in the community, for a “real world” approach.

It is hoped that this design will achieve the power to demonstrate effectiveness that previously published studies have lacked.

It was anticipated that start-up would be in Summer 2007. The first families are just beginning to enroll in the four weeks’ intervention but intervention has affected funding. New grant applications are under way and it is hoped that the study will continue.

ACENA’s next conference will take place on 28-29 August 2008. It will be hosted by the Center for Independence through Conductive Education and held in Chicago IL.

Notes and references

Nigel Paneth, Madeleine Lenski, Sukyeong Pi, Ken Frank, Conductive Education Evaluation Project (CEEP). Overheads presented to the ACENA Third Annual Conductive Education Workshop, Grand Rapids MI, August 2007

Conductive Education Evaluation Project (CEEP) for Children with Cerebral Palsy. Summary of poster submitted to the Premier Public Health Conference, Kalamazoo, MI, October 2008

Conductive Education Evaluation Project (CEEP) Cerebral Palsy Outreach News (SPON)

Association for Conductive Education in North America (ACENA)

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