News & Events

We’re working on a number of initiatives to expand participation and safety in sports. See what we’re up to.

Celebrating Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day

About 1 in every 345 children are impacted by Cerebral Palsy making it one of the most common motor disabilities in children. October 6th is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day, and we wanted to share the work we’re doing with Seattle Children’s Hospital to support youth with Cerebral Palsy. 

What is Cerebral Palsy? 

CP is a result of abnormal brain development or injury to the developing brain that causes weaknesses and affects a person’s muscle abilities. Physical Therapy is a mainstay of care for patients with CP and has been shown to improve function. Access to quality personalized care is limited by many factors including cost, insurance coverage, transportation, and access to physical therapists, as well as being time intensive.  

Innovations in Digital Health to Support Home Exercise in Youth with CP 

The Sports Institute’s team has partnered with Seattle Children’s Hospital to pilot a study on home exercise using ExerciseRx, our cloud-based, HIPAA-compliant software platform created for healthcare providers to prescribe and monitor physical activity as part of routine care. Using ExerciseRx, physical therapists will prescribe youth a home exercise routine that can be completed from the comfort of their homes.  

Connie Leibow, PT, PCS, is working with Dr. Cindy Lin as a co-Investigator on this study. Ms. Leibow has seen firsthand how important physical therapy and age-appropriate exercises can be for youth with CP. “This study provides new pathways for meeting patients’ needs and supporting them between visits. Physical therapy is an ongoing, essential part of patient care plans for youth with CP. Regular exercise helps youth improve strength, motor function and posture. It also helps improve quality of life by maximizing functional ability and participation, something all parents want for their kids.”  

The current ExerciseRx platform, including the patient app and provider dashboard, was developed based on feedback from physical therapists and families impacted by CP. As we learn more about which features are most useful and impactful for youth with CP, our team will continue to evolve the ExerciseRx platform to best serve this unique user population.  

Dr. Samuel Browd, Director of The Sports Institute and pediatric neurosurgeon at Seattle Children’s Hospital is a strong proponent of leveraging accessible technologies to better serve patients. “Digital health tools are the future of physical therapy because they empower patients with the knowledge, accessibility, and accountability needed to take control of their own health. By seamlessly integrating technology into therapy, we not only enhance the efficiency of care but also bridge the gap between clinic and home, making healing a continuous journey rather than a sporadic event.” 

Thank you to Seattle Children’s Research Institute and Seattle Children’s Cerebral Palsy Research Committee for supporting this work. 

You could help us learn about an app to help teens with cerebral palsy with their at home exercise

Researchers at Seattle Children’s and the Sports Institute at UW Medicine want to find ways to use the technology called ExerciseRx to make in-home physical therapy routines easier, especially for teens who have cerebral palsy. Research is always voluntary!

Would the study be a good fit for me? This study might be a good fit for you if:

  • Have Cerebral Palsy
  • Can Walk with or without a mobility device.
  • Are between 13 and 17 years old.
  • Would benefit from a simple home exercise routine.

What would happen if I took part in the study? If you decide to take part in this study, you would:

  • Be prescribed a standard 5-week home exercise plan.
  • Use the tablet provided to track your exercise routine.
  • Answer brief weekly e-mail surveys.
  • Complete a virtual exit interview and questionnaire.

Adolescents who take part in this study get a physical therapy evaluation (in their home or at the University of Washington) with follow up support at no charge and $100 gift card to thank them for their time.

There may be possible benefits if you take part in the study: Improved or maintained flexibility and strength, typical of home exercise regimens.

To take part in this ExcerciseRx study scan the QR link or contact our team at [email protected] for more information. For more information on Cerebral Palsy and our ongoing research, please reach out to us at [email protected].