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In The News: Concussion Data, Childhood Cancer Talk Radio, Autism and Quality of Life, Palliative Care

Published on
Mar 27, 2020
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mccannn [at] email.chop.edu (By Nancy McCann)

As many of us settle into working from home these days, our researchers have provided plenty of good reading material for us. In this week’s In the News, you’ll learn about the importance of video confirmation of head impacts, the heartfelt contributions of the Philly Spin-In, and the need for improved training for healthcare workers in regard to palliative and end-of-life care. Discover who among us was a guest on Childhood Cancer Talk Radio, a new autism-specific lifespan quality-of-life assessment tool, and findings about the distance between hospital locations and mass shootings.

Video Confirmation Critical for Processing Head Impact Sensor Data

Approximately 1 in 5 high school athletes who plays a contact sport such as soccer, lacrosse, or football, experiences a concussion each year. With increased awareness of concussion risks in young athletes, researchers are using a variety of head impact sensors to measure frequency and severity of impact during sports.

A new study from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia reveals video confirmation is critical to the processing of head impact sensor data to eliminate a large number of false positive impacts during real game play. These findings, published online by the American Journal of Sports Medicine, reveal this extra step is essential for research and for use of this data in injury prevention strategies for player safety.

“This study enables the field to build on previous research and improve the accuracy of data collected from head impact sensors by emphasizing the importance of detailed confirmation of head impact sensor data,” said Kristy Arbogast, PhD, co-scientific director and director of Engineering at the Center for Injury Research and Prevention (CIRP), and senior author of the study. “Using head impact sensor data confirmed by video analysis will yield high quality information from which we can make important health and sports policy decisions to safeguard athletes.”

Read CIRP blog post “Roadmap for Protocols Using Head Impact Sensors,” in which Declan Patton, PhD, lead author of this study, discusses the research findings.

See CHOP News for more details.

A Big Workout to Help Little Hearts

“Philly

Team photo from Philly Spin-In

A heartfelt THANK YOU goes out to the 1,600 riders of the fourth annual Philly Spin-In, who raised over $650,000 to support the Cardiac Center at CHOP. On March 8, teams made up of CHOP supporters, employees, families, and friends affected by pediatric congenital heart disease, rode relay-style for a high-energy, heart-pounding, music-filled, indoor cycling party.

The Cardiac Center has one of the largest and most accomplished teams of pediatric cardiac experts in the world, all specially trained to care for children and adolescents with congenital heart disease. Proceeds from this event will directly support patient care, treatment, and research that benefit children with heart conditions both here in the local community and around the world. Want to help? Philly Spin-In 2020 is still taking donations.

See CHOP News for more information or watch media coverage of this event on 6ABC.

Adam Resnick Educates Listeners of Childhood Cancer Talk Radio Show

Our own Adam Resnick, PhD, director of the Center for Data-Driven Discovery in Biomedicine, was a guest on Childhood Cancer Talk Radio, part of Toginet Radio, an Internet talk radio network. In the March 19 segment “A New Day for Pediatric Brain Cancer Research,” he shared important developments in pediatric cancer research as scientific chair of Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium (CBTTC) and Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium (PNOC), with show host, Janet Demeter.

The CBTTC and PNOC have a strong partnership that’s been developed through a common vision to rapidly improve translational research to inform clinical trial strategies. This collaboration is working to share resources and expertise with leaders in the field of pediatric cancer research on behalf of children throughout the world.

“These efforts have led to the successful launch of over 20 clinical trials and the creation of the largest pediatric brain tumor genomic and biospecimen repository, and large-scale cloud resources and discovery platforms for researchers world-wide to collaborate in real-time,” Dr. Resnick said. “This infrastructure for advancing pediatric brain tumor research would have never been possible without the CBTTC and PNOC’s successful collaborative approach in this rare disease area, as no single institution sees enough pediatric brain tumor patients alone.”

Researchers Develop Autism-Specific Lifespan Quality of Life Assessment Tool

Findings of a new study led by CHOP researchers will help clinicians learn more about how to support the needs of autistic individuals by directly asking them critical questions. Results of the study “A Lifespan Approach to Patient-Reported Outcomes and Quality of Life for People on the Autism Spectrum,” appeared online this month in the journal Autism Research.

The study showed that a set of simple questionnaires can help clinicians and families evaluate better the quality of life of people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The newly developed tool, PROMIS Autism Battery – Lifespan (PAB-L) is designed for children, adolescents, and adults on the autism spectrum. It focuses on five domains: Subjective Well-being, Relationships, Emotional Distress, Health, and Adulthood.

On average, people of all ages on the autism spectrum reported greater challenges and lower quality of life compared with their peers without an autism diagnosis. They reported lower life satisfaction, less social support and more social isolation, were more likely to exhibit emotional distress through symptoms like anger and anxiety, and were more likely to have sleep problems. Women and teenaged girls on the autism spectrum reported higher levels of anxiety and sleep problems than their male counterparts.

“This study demonstrated that assessing quality of life among patients of different ages and genders is possible, and that it’s meaningful,” said Judith Miller, PhD, MS, psychologist, clinical training director at CHOP’s Center for Autism Research, and senior author of the study. “We believe these findings provide an important foundation to answer some very important questions about how to support the quality of life for people with autism, including those who have been historically under-represented in clinical research.”

Go to CHOP News for more information.

More Than Half Mass Shootings Occur Far From Pediatric Trauma Centers

In a research letter published in JAMA Surgery, CHOP doctors discuss their analysis of 2019 mass shootings and hospital locations. The authors found that the closest hospital to more than 70 percent of mass shootings was a non-trauma center, where sudden, high casualty loads were more likely to overwhelm capacity and trauma-specific care options may have been limited. In more than half of mass shooting events, the nearest pediatric trauma center was more than 10 miles away.

“Children with injuries place a great stress on the system because many non-pediatric centers have limited child-specific resources, such as appropriately sized tracheal tubes and IVs, personnel trained in pediatric care, and pediatric-focused triage and transport policies,” said Michael Nance, MD, director of CHOP’s Pediatric Trauma Center, and fellow with the Violence Prevention Initiative. “Until we are able to reduce the frequency of mass shooting events, all hospitals must be ready to function similarly to a military field unit, with resources to treat trauma injuries in patients of all ages.”

See CHOP News for more information.

Improved Training Needed for Pediatric Palliative and End-Of-Life Care

Findings from recent studies by Jennifer Walter, MD, PhD, MS and colleagues, identified opportunities for healthcare workers to improve training in teamwork, communication, and ethics of palliative and end-of-life care. The studies included a retrospective chart review of pediatric residents’ exposure to patient deaths, and the context of those exposures, and a phenomenological qualitative analysis of “uncertainty” as experienced and described by pediatric oncology team members regarding the introduction of palliative care.

See this issue of the Center for Pediatric Clinical Effectiveness newsletter for details.

ICYMI

Catch up on our headlines from our last edition of In the News:

  • New Sepsis Treatment Optimizes Bacterial Capture by Neutrophil ‘Traps’
  • CHOP Receives $10 Million for Pincus Endowed Global Fellowship Program
  • New Consortium to Study Rare Genetic Disorders Involved in Psychiatric Conditions
  • Children With Rare Food Allergy More Likely to Have Other Allergies

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