Unraveling quality of life measures within interventions: A focus on children with cerebral palsy

Earlier this year, members of the Jack Brockhoff Child and Wellbeing Program were invited to join the Centre for Research Excellence in Cerebral Palsy (CRE-CP), which was recently awarded by the National Health Medical Research Council (NHMRC) to the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute (MCRI). The aim of this Centre is to substantially improve the assessment and care of young people with cerebral palsy in Australia. Working together with a number of leading clinicians and researchers, we will undertake a range of projects to improve the outcomes for children including trials of various medical, allied health and surgical interventions and how these interventions impact on their quality of life. More information can be found out about the centre, which is led by Professor Dinah Reddihough here: www.mcri.edu.au/CREcerebralpalsy 

To start this wonderful work off, I will hold a seminar at the MCRI to introduce the construct of quality of life and how this can be measured and implemented within clinical interventions in order to better understand their impact beyond functional change to outcomes valued by families and children.

Measures of quality of life (QoL) can provide a broad indication of children’s well-being across several life domains such as physical health and social and emotional well-being. This seminar will introduce the concept of quality of life and provide an overview of QoL measures for children with cerebral palsy. Given the increased number of available measures it can be hard to decide on the most appropriate measure to use. A number of criteria will be discussed that can guide clinical researchers and clinicians in their decision-making. The seminar will also focus on the inclusion of QoL outcome measures in randomised controlled trials. There are a spectrum of issues that need to be considered in order to draw helpful conclusions about the impact of interventions on children’s quality of life for clinicians, researchers and families.

Professor Rob Carter will also introduce QoL measurement from a health economics perspective, serving as a teaser to a upcoming seminar that will be held on December 3rd at MCRI. Professor Rob Carter is Head of Deakin Health Economics and a CI on the CRE-CP.

For anyone who has is curious about quality of life and how to measure it, and interventions that would benefit from including QoL measures, please do come along!

Seminar details:
Unraveling quality of life measures within interventions: A focus on children with Cerebral Palsy

When: Wednesday 1st October
Time: 3-4pm, followed by afternoon tea
Where: Walford Room:Murdoch Childrens Research Institute



Written by Dr Kim-Michelle Gilson
Post doctoral Research Fellow, Jack Brockhoff Child Health & Wellbeing Program
email: kgilson@unimelb.edu.au