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Dr. Peter Rosenbaum


Peter rosenbaum 2021



905-525-9140 ext. 27834


Peter Rosenbaum, M.D., FRCP(C), DSc (HC), FRCPI Hon (Paed) RCPI, joined the faculty of McMaster University in July 1973 and has been a Professor of Pediatrics since 1984. He is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and an Associate Member of the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at McMaster University. He held an inaugural Tier 1 Canada Research Chairs (2001- 2014). In 1989, Peter co-founded the award-winning CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research, a health system-linked research unit now recognized worldwide for its research and dissemination activities.

Peter has held almost 100 peer-reviewed research grants and is a contributing author to over 430 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. He has been an invited lecturer and keynote speaker in >30 countries. He co-authored “Cerebral Palsy: From Diagnosis to Adult Life” (2012), and co-edited “Life Quality Outcomes of Children and Young Adults with Neurological and Developmental Conditions” (2013) with Dr. Gabriel Ronen. In 2016, he and colleagues published a book on ethical dilemmas in developmental medicine, and in 2019 they published a book on the WHO’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (Kraus de Camargo O, Simon L, Ronen GM, Rosenbaum PL. ICF: A hands-on approach for clinicians and families. London: Mac Keith Press, 2018, 978-1-911612-04-9)

Peter has worked with almost 80 graduate students and has been a graduate supervisor or committee member at the Universities of Oxford, Utrecht, Witwatersrand, and Toronto in addition to McMaster. From 2012-14, he was a consultant to UNICEF’s Expert Consultation on the Collection of Data on Children with Disabilities. His awards include the Ross Award from the Canadian Pediatric Society (2000); an Honorary Doctor of Science degree, Université Laval (2005); the AACPDM’s first Mentorship Award (2007) and its Lifetime Achievement Award (2014). In 2015, he received the inaugural Holland Bloorview Medal of Excellence for “outstanding achievement and leadership in making positive global advancements in the field of childhood disabilities. In October 2017, he was honoured by the University of Haifa with the university’s Carmel Award of Merit in recognition of his lifetime achievements in childhood disabilities research. In May 2018, he received the Fondation Paralysie Cérébral/Fondation Motrice Prize at the 30th annual meeting of the European Academy of Childhood Disability. In October 2022 he was awarded an honorary Fellowship in Paediatrics by the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland.

Areas of Focus

Childhood disability, family-centred service, child and family well-being in families of children with 'complicated lives', measurement and functional classification in childhood disability, promoting evidence-based services in this field.


Effective Rehabilitation for Children and Youth with Brain Injury: Analyzing the Evidence

This project includes 6 systematic reviews of different rehabilitation interventions for children and youth with brain injury. Topics to be covered are: Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, Casting and Splinting, Botox, Alternative Therapies, Feeding and Behaviour Therapy.

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The Gross Motor Function Classification System - Expanded & revised (GMFCS - E&R) is a 5 level classification system that describes the gross motor function of children and youth with cerebral palsy.

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PARTICIPATE STUDY: The Participation of Children with Disabilities

The PARTICIPATE study has been designed to examine the participation of children with physical disabilities in formal and informal everyday activities.

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The 'Key Worker' Model of Service Delivery

The 'key worker' model is a method of service delivery involving a person who works in a guide role with families.

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Caring About Caregivers

Through this research, we are investigating how various child and caregiver characteristics impact the health of primary, informal (unpaid) caregivers (usually parents).

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Development of a Parent Information KIT (KIT: Keeping it Together™)

The KIT: Keeping it Together™ has been designed to help these parents use information as a tool that will help them to get 'the best' for their child(ren).

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Evaluation of an information KIT for parents of children with special needs: Use, utility and impact

The focus of this two-year prospective evaluation (N=500) is to determine the perceptions of impact and use of the Parent Information KIT (KIT: Keeping it Together™) in pediatric rehabilitation settings.

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Family-centred service: Moving ideas into practice

This study is designed to develop and evaluate educational materials about family-centred service.

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Focus on Function

The Focus on Function Study will compare two treatment approaches ("child-focused" and "context-focused") that are currently being used for children with cerebral palsy and other developmental and motor delays.

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Measuring the External Impact of University-Community Research Alliances and Partnerships Addressing Social/Health Services Issues

The aim of this 3-year research program is to develop a reliable and valid survey measure of the community impacts of research partnerships between universities and community agencies that address social or health services issues.

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Measures of Children's Participation and Enjoyment: CAPE & PAC

The Children's Assessment of Participation and Enjoyment (CAPE) and the Preferences for Activities of Children (PAC) are two companion measures of children's participation.

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Quality FM

The Quality FM is an observational instrument to be used in the evaluation of the quality of movement in children with cerebral palsy.

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Quality of Upper Extremity Skills Test (QUEST)

The Quality of Upper Extremity Skills Test is an outcome measure designed to evaluate movement patterns and hand function in children with cerebral palsy.

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Knowledge Broker

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of physical therapists, acting as Knowledge Brokers (KBs) within their own clinical facility to facilitate the clinical use of evidence-based measures of gross motor function for children with cerebral palsy.

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Understanding the Values, Priorities, and World Views of Families Raising Children with Chronic Developmental Conditions

This three-year study will look at how parenting a child with a disability affects family values, priorities, and views of their place in the world.

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Patterns and Predictors of Recreational and Leisure Participation for Children with Physical Disabilities

For children and youth, involvement in life situations includes participation in recreational and leisure activities as well as school and work activities.

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What helps adolescents with cerebral palsy to be physically active? Developing a program to support youth based on focus groups.

In this communication we want to share our study protocol as part of a program to support physical activity for youth with cerebral palsy (CP) using a focus group methodology.

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Disability and Child Development: Integrating the Concepts

The purpose of this Keeping Current is to review the concern that, rather than being integrated, these two streams ("development" and "disability") of thought have traditionally run more or less in parallel.

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Alternative And Complementary Therapies: For Children And Youth With Brain Injury - Part 1: Controversies

This Keeping Current is one of a series of reports that discuss the effectiveness of rehabilitation interventions for children and youth with brain injury.

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Creating the MPOC, Part 2: Validation of a measure of processes of care-giving

This cross-sectional study continued a multi-year program of research conducted to understand the relation between caregiving offered to parents of children with neuro-developmental disabilities and parents' mental health

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Transitions experienced by children and their families after acquired brain injury

What are the factors that influence transitions to home, school and community / recreational activities for the school-aged child with an acquired brain injury (ABI)?

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Developmental Trajectories of Youth with Disabilities (age 12-25 years of age): A Knowledge Synthesis

This report is the outcome of a knowledge synthesis project on developmental trajectories of youth with disabilities, ages 12 - 25 years.

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Measure of Processes of Care

The Measure of Processes of Care (pronounced "em-pock") is a well-validated and reliable self-report measure of parents' perceptions of the extent to which the health services they and their child(ren) receive are family-centred.

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Motor Growth Curves

GMFM scores of a sample of over 650 Ontario children with cerebral palsy with varying GMFCS levels have been used to create five Motor Growth Curves.

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Clinical Research: How Does It Work?

CanChild, in partnership with NeuroDevNet, is pleased to offer a one-hour webinar that aims to provide attendees with the essential understanding required to read a study with a critical eye.

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Complementary and Alternative Therapies (CAMs): What are the Issues and Why are they so Heated?

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is the term for medical products and practices that are not part of standard care. This webinar was presented by Dr Peter Rosenbaum on behalf of CP-NET.

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Research summary: Changing the task or changing the environment = Changing the Child

This summary is written to help families of children with Cerebral Palsy to understand the findings of a research study “Focus on function: a cluster, randomized controlled trial comparing child-versus contextfocused intervention for young children with cerebral palsy”.

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Move & Play Executive Summary

The purpose of the Move & PLAY study was to gain a better understanding of the child, family, and service delivery factors that support the development of movement abilities and participation in self-care, recreation, and play of preschool children with cerebral palsy (CP).

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Knowledge Broker Study Report

Knowledge brokering is the process of “bringing people together, to help them build relationships, uncover needs, and share ideas and evidence that will let them do their jobs better.

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The International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF): A Global Model to Guide Clinical Thinking and Practice in Childhood Disability

The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) (WHO, 2001) is a classification system developed by the World Health Organization that focuses on the 'components of health'.

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Children with disabilities in Ontario: A profile of children's services.

Part 1: Children, families and services, Part 2: Perceptions about family-centred service delivery for children with disabilities and Part 3: Factors affecting family-centred service delivery for children with disabilities.

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The Impact of Environmental Setting on the Mobility of Children with Cerebral Palsy: Research Findings and Clinical Implications

Gross motor function of children with CP is highly variable. Children who are able to walk vary in their speed, endurance, and need for assistive devices.

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Family-Centred Service: Completed Studies Reports

A studies series on the topic of Children with disabilities in Ontario: A profile of children's services.

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Family Centred Service Sheets

Family-centred service is an approach to providing services to children with special needs, where the family is considered to be at the centre of the services.

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DMCN Author Podcast | Autism Classification System of Functioning: Social Communication (ACSF: SC)

Peter Rosenbaum and Briano di Rezze discuss autism, social communication and the Autism Classification System.

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ACSF:SC Study: In Brief

ACSF:SC (Autism Classification System of Functioning: Social Communication)

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Bringing the 'F-Words' to Life: How are families and service providers using the 'F-words' in practice?

A CP-NET webinar highlighting 'F-word' in Childhood Disability resources and strategies for implementing the concept at home and in clinical practice.

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Focus on the Outcomes of Communication Under Six (FOCUS © ) is a clinical tool designed to evaluate change in communicative-participation in preschool children. ‘Communicative participation’ is the child’s communication and interaction in “real world” situations at home, school, or in the community

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Let’s not go back to ‘normal’! Lessons from COVID-19 for professionals working in childhood disability

This paper reviews issues and considerations about the delivery of child disability health services in the context of the global pandemic and reflects on colleagues’ experiences and lessons learned.

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