Overview

My research is focused on clinical outcomes in the area of Neuromuscular disorders such as Cerebral Palsy and Spina Bifida as well as investigations of various gait (movement) disorders. My clinical practice involves working with a wide array of patients, many of which have neuromuscular disorders involving severe spasticity. Spasticity occurs when there is a defect in the Central Nervous System that causes certain muscles to continuously tighten and contract. Treatments for this debilitating condition involve the use of botulinum toxin (Botox) which is the injection into the muscle which blocks the nerves from causing the muscles to contract. One area of my research and clinical practice involves investigating the functional outcomes of children who receive Botox treatments for spasticity.

Research

Current Projects
One research project that I am currently involved in is a prospective observational database designed to collect data on patient reported outcomes in individuals using Botox for medical reasons. Botulinum toxin (Botox) is used medically to reduce spasticity of muscles, however, the outcomes of this are not measureable through radiographs or other clinical exams. Clinicians are able to see if the botox has had its effect (i.e. if the limb is no longer spastic), however, whether or not the botox is helping the patient functionally remains unknown. Therefore, it is the objective of this study to determine the functional outcomes of Botox when used for medical purposes. In order to achieve this, 50 Specialists across Canada are involved in administering functional outcome questionnaires (SF-12 Health and Well-being Questionnaire and the Global Rating of Change Questionnaire) to their patients who are receiving botox treatments.

A second research project that I am currently involved in is investigating the treatment pattern of Cerebral Palsy with Botulinum Toxin (Botox) in Canada. It is a Practice Assessment Program designed as a prospective audit of physician practice patterns. Many physicians in Canada are currently using Botox as a treatment for Cerebral Palsy but little is known about which physicians are prescribing it and which types of patients they are prescribing its use for. The objective of this study is to gather information on practice patterns related to treatment of Botox injection for Cerebral Palsy and to explore the relationship between the patterms of cerebral palsy indication treatment with the use of Botox injections.

Honours & Awards

Richmond Cerebral Palsy Award, American Academy Cerebral Palsy in Child Developmental Medicine, Portland, Oregon, with Dr. Paul Steinbok, September 1997.

Diplomat, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, 1980.

Special Recognition for 25 years service from “The Centre for Child Development” Surrey B.C., May 3, 2009

Educational Award of Excellence with Distinction. Children & Women’s Health Centre of British Columbia, May 23, 2003

Merit Award, Fraternity To Help Guatemalan Children, April 28, 2001

Research Group Members

Judy Woodward