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Bloorview Research Institute

Research Themes & Platforms

The Bloorview Research Institute scientists conduct research along the broad continuum of rehabilitation care.  In this context, the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (2001) provides a useful conceptual framework for research activities. 

This framework articulates disability as impairments in body function and structure, with concordant limitations in activity, and restrictions in participation in society.  In addition, functioning is shown to be modified by contextual factors, both environmental and personal.  In other words, interventions to ameliorate disability may occur at the individual, family, community, or policy levels.  Based on this model, and given the clinical context at Bloorview Kids Rehab, three research themes or platforms have been identified for the Research Institute.

Evaluation of Practice

This theme area focuses on quantifying the effectiveness of clinical interventions in children and youth with disability and special needs.  This broad area includes randomized clinical trials, program evaluation, and systematic reviews.  The findings from this research support evidence-based practice and identify ‘best practices’ for clinicians, policy makers, and families.

Innovation and Development

This theme area focuses primarily on assistive technology research and development.  Current assistive technology research groups at Bloorview Kids Rehab include intelligent dynamic systems, communication and writing aids, prosthetics and orthotics, seating, and myoelectrics.

Participation

This theme area examines the barriers, that are social, cultural, political, environmental and attitudinal, facing children with disability and special needs.  Research on life skills development, transition through the health care system, and integration into the home, school, and community is conducted.  In addition to research at the level of the individual, research is also conducted at the broader population health level, for example, research on the impact of health policies related to disability on children and families.  In addition, health services research is conducted. For example, examination of access to care, health care utilization, and evaluation of service delivery models.

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