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Chronic Pain Toolbox help kids with CP worldwide

The impact of chronic pain on a child with Cerebral Palsy (CP) and their family is significant.  With over 17 million people diagnosed around the world, CP is the most common physical disability in childhood. In 2014, the Evidence to Care team at Holland Bloorview developed the Chronic Pain Assessment Toolbox for Children with Disabilities (also referred to as the Toolbox) to strengthen chronic pain assessment screening practices among healthcare providers working with children who have CP.

International Recognition

Recognized as a Leading Practice by Accreditation Canada, this innovative tool for clinicians has improved quality of care worldwide.  The clinical assessment tool has been downloaded 4,611 times and internationally accessed by 12 countries across the globe. Countries include: Algeria, Australia, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Kuwait, Mexico, Netherlands, Portugal, Turkey, United States and United Kingdom.

Hospital Partnership

Over the last two years the Evidence to Care team has worked closely with Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, a world leader in care for children with cerebral palsy, to facilitate the adoption of the Toolbox within their healthcare system.

“Because of our adoption of the Holland Bloorview Chronic Pain Toolbox, our implementing clinicians have assessed chronic pain in over 70 per cent of their pediatric patients who may not have otherwise discussed their chronic pain at their medical appointments,” says Chantel Barney, Ph.D., Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, Minnesota.

As institutions that specialize in complex care, Holland Bloorview and Gillette Children’s look forward to continuing our partnership, exploring new opportunities and collaborations in the future.  To read more about our international research collaborative work visit their blog post here. 

What’s Next? 

To ensure the Toolbox would benefit other healthcare systems outside of Holland Bloorview, the Evidence to Care team created the Implementation Supports Manual. The manual provides a step-by-step guide for the adoption, implementation and evaluation of the Toolbox. As an extension of the manual, the team recently launched e-learning modules that serve as a short guide to the Toolbox for clinicians and other organizations.

“The e-learning modules are an interactive and engaging way to enhance and learn more about the toolbox,” says Ashleigh Townley, Knowledge Broker from our Evidence to Care team. The modules give an introduction to chronic pain and the Toolbox, a list of tools used at Holland Bloorview and a client case study. These modules illustrate how the Toolbox examines and identifies the pain experience to create better treatment plans.

To view the e-learning modules click here.

Watch a video from Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare about the impact of the Chronic Pain Toolbox.

For more information please contact Evidence to Care at