Kids Rehab WA

Departmental Overview

Kids Rehab WA is a state-wide, integrated tertiary clinical, research, education and training unit. It delivers inter-disciplinary services to children and adolescents in Western Australia with acquired or congenital neurological impairments, with links to satellite secondary units throughout the state.
We offer research informed and infused services to children and youth with acquired or congenital neurological impairments, to improve functional outcomes, which are unique to this state.
The research program exists to:
  1. Generate, evaluate and translate research findings
  2. Build capacity in the field by training the next generation of clinicians and clinical researchers.

Integral to our research is the involvement of consumers, who are represented by the Kids Rehab WA Consumer Steering group. The group has regular meetings and are an important voice in the planning, implementation and dissemination of the research findings.

Along with publication in top ranking academic journals, and presenting at national and international conferences, knowledge translation is achieved through training and education within the department, to the wider hospital and external service providers to ensure all children and youth are given the opportunity to improve functional outcomes, and unlock their potential, with the latest evidence based medicine and services.

Clinical programs and research

Nested within the different clinical programs are a range of research projects including early detection and intervention for babies at risk of cerebral palsy, assessment of long term outcomes of botulinum toxin use in children with cerebral palsy, and outcomes for children with acquired brain injury, among others. Highlights of specific projects are outlined below:

Participate CP

Kids Rehab WA Lead: Professor Catherine Elliott

NHMRC APP1140756 ($1.1M)

The Participate CP project explores the effect of 12 weeks of individualised home therapy, focusing on goals identified by the child, on participation in physical activity goals. Recruitment is active.

Discovering the Sense of Touch

Kids Rehab WA Leads: Professor Catherine Elliott, Dr Belinda McLean, Dr Ashleigh Thornton

TNCRF ($170, 000)

The Sense project is interested in understanding the effect of 6 weeks of intensive sensation training on functional sensation for children and adolescents with cerebral palsy.

Infant Wrist / Hand Orthoses Trial (iWHOT)

Kids Rehab WA Leads: Professor Catherine Elliott, Dr Simon Garbellini

PCH Foundation, Australian Catholic University

The iWHOTrial is a multicentre, assessor-blinded, randomised controlled trial with economic analysis which aims to evaluate the effectiveness of the provision of a wrist immobilising orthosis on impairment, activity, participation and quality of life outcomes for young children aged 0 to 4 years who are at risk of, or have, cerebral palsy.

Early Moves

Kids Rehab WA Leads: Dr Jane Valentine, Professor Catherine Elliott, Dr Alison Salt. Post doc: Dr Caroline Alexander

NHMRC, Cerebral Palsy Alliance, WA Child Research Fund, Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation (Totalling $4.26 Million)

Looking to identify very early biomarkers for cognitive impairment, the study will see 3000 babies recruited through the large scale ORIGINS project (Joondalup Health Campus/Telethon Kids Institute), with assessments including the General Movements assessments and Bayley Scales of Toddler and Infant development.


Last Updated: 23/06/2022