Clinical Assistant Professor, Pediatrics - Neonatal and Developmental Medicine
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was designed to (1) decrease the number of uninsured Americans, (2) make health insurance and health care affordable, and (3) improve health outcomes and performance of the health care system. During the design of ACA, children in general and children and youth with special health care needs and disabilities (CYSHCN) were not a priority because before ACA, a higher proportion of children than adults had insurance coverage through private family plans, Medicaid, or the State Children's Health Insurance Programs (CHIP). ACA benefits CYSHCN through provisions designed to make health insurance coverage universal and continuous, affordable, and adequate. Among the limitations of ACA for CYSHCN are the exemption of plans that had been in existence before ACA, lack of national standards for insurance benefits, possible elimination or reductions in funding for CHIP, and limited experience with new delivery models for improving care while reducing costs. Advocacy efforts on behalf of CYSHCN must track implementation of ACA at the federal and the state levels. Systems and payment reforms must emphasize access and quality improvements for CYSHCN over cost savings. Developmental-behavioral pediatrics must be represented at the policy level and in the design of new delivery models to assure high quality and cost-effective care for CYSHCN.
View details for Web of Science ID 000352195800010
Though the cause of motor abnormalities in cerebral palsy is injury to the brain, structural changes in muscle and fascia may add to stiffness and reduced function. This study examined whether myofascial structural integration therapy, a complementary treatment that manipulates muscle and fascia, would improve gross motor function and gait in children <4 years with cerebral palsy. Participants (N = 29) were enrolled in a randomized controlled trial (NCT01815814, https://goo.gl/TGxvwd) or Open Label Extension. The main outcome was the Gross Motor Function Measure-66 assessed at 3-month intervals. Gait (n = 8) was assessed using the GAITRite(®) electronic walkway. Parents completed a survey at study conclusion. Comparing Treatment (n = 15) and Waitlist-Control groups (n = 9), we found a significant main effect of time but no effect of group or time × group interaction. The pooled sample (n = 27) showed a main effect of time, but no significantly greater change after treatment than between other assessments. Foot length on the affected side increased significantly after treatment, likely indicating improvement in the children's ability to approach a heel strike. Parent surveys indicated satisfaction and improvements in the children's quality of movement. MSI did not increase the rate of motor skill development, but was associated with improvement in gait quality.
View details for DOI 10.3389/fped.2015.00074
View details for PubMedID 26442234
Children with spastic cerebral palsy experience difficulty with ambulation. Structural changes in muscle and fascia may play a role in abnormal gait. Myofascial structural integration (Rolfing) is a manual therapy that manipulates muscle and soft tissues to loosen fascia layers, reposition muscles, and facilitate alignment. This study aimed to document (1) gait characteristics of 2 children with cerebral palsy and (2) effects of myofascial structural integration on their gait. Children received 3 months of weekly therapy sessions by an experienced practitioner. Gait parameters were recorded at baseline and after treatment using an electronic walkway. Children with cerebral palsy demonstrated abnormal velocity and cadence, decreased step length and single support times, and increased double support time. After treatment, both children demonstrated improvement for 3 months in cadence and double support time. The objective gait analyses demonstrated temporary improvements after myofascial structural integration in children with spastic cerebral palsy.
View details for DOI 10.1177/2156587214540466
View details for PubMedID 24989994