Nighttime Postural Care: Caregiver training and outcome measure feasibility


Jennifer Hutson

Name of Award

APDC Faculty Research & Scholarly Activities Grant

Date Awarded



Occupational Science/Occupational Therapy

Project Description

Jennifer Hutson, Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy, received $5,291 to investigate both the feasibility of a sleep care positioning training protocol and the inter-rater reliability of the sleep disturbance scale for children (SDCS). This research project has the potential to advance health care services for persons with cerebral palsy (CP). Investigators will produce new knowledge about the effectiveness of tools for use by professional and non-professional care providers during nighttime postural care (NTPC) intervention. For example, the merits of a sleep positioning caregiver training protocol will be assessed. Additionally, inter-rater reliability of the SDSC will be examined to understand whether scoring of assessment items can be consistent across multiple raters. Study results will inform a future intervention study examining the impact of NTPC for children with CP on quality of life, sleep, and body function.

This study is needed to ensure the effectiveness of protocols aimed to train those employing sleep-based interventions and reliability of tools used to measure sleep outcomes. Previous NTPC intervention studies are inconsistent in their use of protocols for response and sound outcome measures. The training protocol and outcome measure examined as a part of this research project, if proven effective, will be used in a future NTPC intervention study.

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