(Overall) We propose a National Pediatric Rehabilitation Resource Center (PedRehab Ctr) to offer research infrastructure supports to improve investigators' capacity to conduct rigorous clinical trials to test and implement evidence-based interventions in pediatric medical rehabilitation.
Our specific aims are: 1) to provide an active and archived program of courses, workshops, webinars, and demonstrations related to the design, conduct, analysis, and reporting of high-quality, high-impact clinical trials - including complex, multicomponent, and multiphase treatments (Didactic Interactions); 2) to support interdisciplinary research collaborations that promote innovation and excellence in conducting multi-site clinical trials (Mentored Collaborative Opportunities); 3) to develop critically needed techniques in measurement and understanding of neurobiological mechanisms and biobehavioral outcomes in pediatric medical rehabilitation (Techniques Development); 4) to fund pilot studies via partnerships with leading national organizations to yield data for informing competitive NIH applications in pediatric medical rehabilitation (Pilot Studies); and 5) to promote PedRehab Ctr expertise by advertising and coordinating with major associations and to prepare a much-needed comprehensive, interdisciplinary reference manual (online and dynamically updated) addressing issues inherent in pediatric medical rehabilitation research (Promoting Center Expertise). Our analysis of critical gaps, obstacles, and opportunities in pediatric rehabilitation research informs the strategies we propose to achieve these aims. The administrative organization and operational plan for PedRehab Ctr will realize efficiencies, leverage resources, and ensure broad outreach through partnerships with leading organizations, research networks, and special interest groups. PedRehab Ctr will convene a National Advisory Group with patient/parent representation to assist in plans for and evaluation of PedRehab Ctr activities. PedRehab Ctr proposes approaches to increase diversity in the pediatric rehabilitation workforce and research. Our PedRehab Ctr core team at Virginia Tech, The Ohio State University, and Nationwide Children's Hospital has deep expertise and unique labs that support developmental science, neuroimaging, pediatric neurology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, medical rehabilitation science, bioengineering, research design and regulations, and Implementation Science. PedRehab Ctr activities will build on our leadership roles in NIH multisite randomized controlled trials (Phase II and III), our Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs), NIH research networks, NIH training programs in translational biomedical and implementation science, and national organizations. Collectively, PedRehab Ctr has the potential to increase the number of scientifically rigorous, productive, and high-impact clinical trials in pediatric medical rehabilitation. In turn, the expansion and effective implementation of scientific findings from these trials will likely produce widespread and enduring improvements in functional outcomes, health, and productivity of individuals affected by childhood-onset disorders and disabilities.

Public Health Relevance

(Overall) The National Pediatric Rehabilitation Resource Center is designed to increase the capacity of investigators from many disciplines to conduct scientifically rigorous, high-impact clinical research in pediatric medical rehabilitation. In turn, new discoveries about effective treatments have the potential to produce lifelong benefits in the health, productivity, and quality of life of those affected by childhood-onset disabilities.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Resource-Related Research Multi-Component Projects and Centers (P2C)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZHD1)
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Nitkin, Ralph M
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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
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United States
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