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Article: Addressing Children's Needs

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    Article: Addressing Children's Needs

    J Spinal Cord Med. 2007;30 Suppl 1:S140-5.

    Addressing children's needs and evaluating rehabilitation outcome after spinal cord injury: the child needs assessment checklist and goal-planning program.

    Webster G, Kennedy P.

    National Spinal Injuries Centre, Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom.

    BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVE: Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a devastating event with lasting implications for children and families. The rehabilitation of children and adolescents with SCI must be developmentally based, and goal-planning programs must respond to their changing needs as they grow. The Child Needs Assessment Checklist (ChNAC) and goal-planning program provides a developmentally sensitive way to assess and address young people's needs within the context of their family and community. This preliminary study investigated the utility of the ChNAC in planning rehabilitation goals and evaluating outcomes for young people. METHODS: A retrospective review of scores on the ChNAC was conducted to assess the effectiveness of the goal-planning program in addressing pediatric patients' rehabilitation needs. The sample comprised 33 young people for whom both baseline and outcome ChNACs had been completed. RESULTS: Comparison of goals achieved on baseline and outcome ChNACs by median percentage score showed improvements in 9 of 10 areas. Differences in scores were compared across demographic groups. CONCLUSIONS: The ChNAC is a practical tool for planning young people's rehabilitation after SCI and assessing rehabilitation outcome. This study is a preliminary demonstration of the pediatric goal-planning program's effectiveness in achieving positive rehabilitation outcomes. Future research should replicate these results with larger samples and include detailed studies of the ChNAC's reliability and validity.
    “As the cast of villains in SCI is vast and collaborative, so too must be the chorus of hero's that rise to meet them” Ramer et al 2005