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Archived Research Projects

The John McGivney Children's Centre actively supports research that ultimately enhances the lives of children and youth with special needs. In partnership with community agencies, children's treatment centres and/or research centres, families and staff of the John McGivney Children's Centre participate in research projects that have been approved by a Research Review Committee.  If you are interested in participating in a research project or would like to invite JMCC to participate in a research project, please contact

Past Studies

On Track-Developmental Trajectories of Children with CP

Study Purpose:

The On Track Study is a large multi-site collaboration involving researchers, therapists, families and children with cerebral palsy (CP) from across Canada and the United States. The aim of the study is to describe the changes in balance (a primary impairment), range of motion limitations, strength, and endurance (secondary impairments), number and impact of health conditions, and participation in self-care and recreation and leisure activities over a one-year period in young children with CP aged 18 months through elementary school age. We aim to recruit 175 children with CP, aged 18 months to 10 years, in each of the 5 levels of the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) for a total sample of 875. The On Track Study will recruit some families involved in our previous Move & Play study, as well as some newly identified families. Trained therapist assessors will measure the primary and secondary impairments (i.e. balance, range of motion limitations and strength) on 2 occasions (12-months apart). Parents will complete questionnaires to track changes in the child’s endurance, health conditions, and participation in self-care and recreation activities, at the same data collection points. We will use these 2 data collection points to develop reference percentiles and we will present the data so that therapists can assist families to determine if children with CP are developing as expected, better than expected, or more poorly than expected, depending on their functional ability levels.

Principal Investigators:

Doreen Bartlett, PT, PhD, Professor, School of Physical Therapy, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada Scientist, CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

JMCC Team:

Marie O'Neil, PT; Kristin Mosser, PT



Update (October 2014):

There are 600 families participating in the On Track Study from 38 locations across North. What we are learning in this study has the potential to improve the developmental monitoring of families and children with gross motor delay.  This study will determine how young children with cerebral palsy or gross motor delays progress in many aspects of their physical development and participation in daily life. The information collected from this study will help therapists and parents monitor if a child is developing as expected. Then, the health care professionals working with children can use the results of this study, in combination with our previously completed Move & PLAY study results, to provide the services that are most beneficial and meaningful for each child and their family members.
We are in the home stretch now and well on our way to our goal of recruiting 800 families in the study by the end of December 2014. We have created a short video to give a quick overview of the study, and to review the objectives and who is eligible to participate. We are especially looking to enroll more children in the study who are 10 years of age and children who use assistive mobility devices and/or wheeled mobility to get around.  Please take a look at the video and share the link with other organizations, therapists or families who you think may be able to help us with recruitment! Click here to watch the video: