Physiotherapy Assessment and Treatment in Pediatric Spinal Muscular Atrophy
Recent medical advances have provided new therapeutic options for families of children diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). These therapies are changing the phenotype of treated patients, who no longer follow the natural history of SMA.
This online course is brought to you by the Paediatric Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA).
Physiotherapists have a role in promoting positive outcomes for children with SMA.
Developing an awareness of the changing natural history of the disease, understanding the principles of best practice for physiotherapy treatment, and how to measure change in motor function will be important for physiotherapists who work with this population.
Silvana Echeverri, BSc MPT
Silvana graduated from UBC’s Master of Physiotherapy program and has been working as a pediatric physiotherapist since 2014. Silvana works at Kids Physio and is the owner of the Cambie Kids Physio location. Silvana is also a Clinical Evaluator at BC Children’s Hospital, working to perform physiotherapy evaluations for neuromuscular conditions including DMD and SMA for clinical trials.
Niamh is a paediatric physiotherapist at BC Children’s hospital, working primarily with the Spinal Muscular Atrophy population and in the paediatric ICU, where she supports the physiotherapy needs of paediatric SMA clients within BC and the Yukon. She graduated with a bachelors in physiotherapy from University College Dublin in 2010. Niamh moved to Vancouver from Ireland in 2011 and started her career in adult acute care, transitioning to BC Children’s hospital in 2017.
Angelina is the Associate Head of Clinical Education in the Department of Physical Therapy at UBC. Throughout her career she has worked clinically as a physiotherapist in the area of pediatrics, as a clinical evaluator at BC Children’s Hospital, and as a consultant who provides support and training to healthcare professionals engaged in clinical trials in pediatric rare disease.
CPA - Embodia Partnership Information
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The Paediatric Division is a special interest group within the Canadian Physiotherapy Association. Our membership consists of clinicians from all practice settings, students, educators, researchers, physiotherapy assistants and administrators all of whom have a passion for promoting participation and enhancing the lives of children and their families. We are dedicated to provide resources and information for paediatric patients and their families to promote participation and function independence in all aspects of life.
Paediatric physiotherapists employ clinical expertise in the early detection of health problems, treatment, education and management of congenital, developmental, neuromuscular, skeletal, cardiorespiratory or acquired disorders/diseases. Paediatric physiotherapists work with children of all ages, from infants through young adulthood to promote participation and functional independence. Paediatric physiotherapists have a unique role in that they not only work with the child, but also their families in the context of their daily home, school and recreational environment.
Paediatric physiotherapists use validated outcome measures to assess the level of strength, flexibility, gross-, and fine-motor coordination and overall functional capabilities to determine participation limitations or restrictions as a result of injury, disease or disability.
Through analysis of objective assessment findings, the paediatric physiotherapist uses evidence-based treatment interventions specifically tailored to the client and their family's goals. Treatment interventions focus on improving gross and fine motor skills, balance and coordination, strength and endurance, as well as cognitive and sensory processing/integration.
Course Material included in this course
Welcome and Resources
Etiology and Medical Management
Goal Directed Therapies
Fitness and Orthopaedic Considerations