Participate

Participate in a Study


We are now recruiting participants for a variety of projects to learn about the mechanisms underlying impaired hand function in cerebral palsy, brain plasticity and rehabilitation. We are taking names/info of potential participants so contact us and e-mail the information form if you would like to be considered for any of these projects. All information is kept completely confidential and PARTICIPATION IS FREE!

Our camps are generally held during the school recess. Visit our study recruitment page for details and dates.

Participation Steps

  1. Visit the study recruitment page and select a study you may be interested in. Follow the instructions on that page to contact us.

  2. If your child meets the initial study inclusion criteria, we will keep your contact information in our confidential file. The next step is to have a physical evaluation of hand function. Participants from the tri-state area (NY, NJ, CT) may make a free appointment to be evaluated. If you live out of the immediate area, we may send you a screening form for your child's physical or occupational therapist to complete. These take about a half hour and involve a test of hand function and an interview with you. These are important as they tell us the likelihood that your child will tolerate and benefit from our treatment camps so that we do not waste your time.

  3. If your child meets all of the inclusion criteria after the in-person or PT/OT screening, he/she will be invited to participate in a study.

  4. Children must be evaluated directly prior to the start of an intervention. All evaluations will take place in the Movement Sciences Program laboratories located in Thorndike and Thompson Halls at Teachers College, Columbia University (525 W. 120th St., New York, NY 10027). 

  5. Intervention Time! Depending on the camp, this will involve between 5 to 15 days of one-to-one intervention in a day camp setting. Parents are not required to stay during the day.

  6. Post-camp evaluations. Children are immediately tested after treatment, and then six months after the camp. Following the intervention, you will be asked to complete weekly activity logs that outline how many hours per week your child spends practicing bimanual tasks for which both arms are needed. These activity logs will be emailed back to us. After the six-month evaluation, your study obligations are complete although you may feel free to use us a a resource for your child anytime thereafter.

Volunteer

We welcome volunteers interested in gaining clinical experience working with children. Volunteers are trained and supervised in administering constraint-induced movement therapy (CIT) and bimanual training (HABIT) by experienced physical and occupational therapists. Prior volunteers have included physical and occupational therapists from the US and abroad, physical and occupational therapy students fulfilling internship requirements, clinical psychology graduate students, speech pathology graduate students, kinesiology undergraduate and graduate students, and individuals looking to meet the "volunteering and related-work requirements" for admission to physical or occupational therapy school. Typically, volunteers work one-on-on with a child with cerebral palsy from 8:30am to 4pm for 15 days over 3 weeks (112 hours). Occasionally, volunteers assist with data entry and other project-related activities. Certificates for completing the service are provided at the end. Participation is a rewarding experience in which you may make a difference in the life of a child with cerebral palsy and their family. Please email your cover letter and an updated CV to Tara Brennan at cpresearch@tc.columbia.edu if interested.

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