Award: Study of Pain in Adults with Cerebral Palsy

Headshots of two women with shoulder length brown hair and glasses smiling broadly.

Cerebral Palsy Research Network leaders Drs Bailes and Gannotti will lead a study of adult pain classification funded by CPARF.

The Cerebral Palsy Research Network has been awarded funds for a three-year study in the classification of pain for adults with cerebral palsy (CP). This study was the subject of October’s MyCP webinar. Classification of pain in adults is fundamental to identifying proper treatments and improving outcomes. Congratulations to co-principal investigators Amy Bailes, PT, PhD and Mary Gannotti, PT, PhD who will lead the team which includes the rest of the members of the Adult Care Quality Improvement.

The CP Research Network applied to Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation (CPARF) for this award earlier this year. CPARF’s research funding was a very competitive cycle this year and we are honored to receive this funding to advance our essential study of pain in adults with CP. We expect that this work will have a very broad impact on adult care by beginning to address pain, one of the most important issues identified through our Research CP program — our community created research agenda.

The study team comprises clinician investigators from Columbia University, Nationwide Children’s Hospital which has an adult outpatient clinic, University of Michigan, and the University of Colorado. This team has already demonstrated that it can improve the care of adults across multiple centers with its Adult Care QI initiative. This effort led to a substantial increase in the assessment of pain across participating CP Research Network centers from 24% of the time to over 90% percent of visits. Now the group is planning the next important step in the systematic treatment of pain – classifying it accurately as a critical step to effective treatment. The study will begin with a Delphi process to identify the best tools to classify pain during a clinical visit. The appropriate classification of an individual’s pain will enable clinicians to choose the most appropriate treatments.

We look forward to the successful execution of this grant and transforming how pain is treated in adults. People interested in the background for the study can watch October’s MyCP webinar with the study team. Adults wanting to participate in our research should either join MyCP to regularly contribute your lived experience to our research or take our initial adult study of wellbeing and pain.