Friday, 18 March 2011

Evaluate an intermittant programme

It is time that somebody should try
Norwegians would

See this news report on PTO's website, dated 10.07.2010. It is written in Norwegian and the following is my own take on what it means –

The research is up and running!

PTØ Norge has long wished to evaluate the effectiveness of the Pető method training. And now we are working on a research project in cooperation with Oslo University College. The purpose is to evaluate the effect of periods of Pető method training for children with cerebral palsy.
The first children have now been randomised, i.e. sent arbitrarily either to Pető method training camp or put on the waiting list.

There has long been a need for research in this field, since the method and its effects are not well enough documented. This is the first time in Norway that research on the effect of the Peto method, and PTO Norge is very happy with it.
The study will examine whether periods of Pető method training in combination with regular exercise improves children's gross motor skills, hand function and aspects of daily living. The children's and parents'/guardians' quality of life and how they perceive the care that they receive in the regular service system will also be examined.
The research group consists of Hilda T. Myrhaug (Research Fellow at the University of Oslo), Sigrid Østensjø (Supervisor and Associate Professor at the University of Oslo), Nina Vøllestad (Supervisor and Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo) and Jan Odegaard-Jensen (Statistician at the Norwegian Information Centre for the Health Services). The study will be included in a doctoral project on intensive training and rehabilitation for preschool children with cerebral palsy.  
The children who join the study are guaranteed three Pető method training periods of three weeks duration over the course of a year. The courses will be either in Hamar, Stavanger or Ski, most likely in Hamar. In the periods between classes, children will continue their regular work at home, physiotherapy and in kindergarten. The children will be followed by systematic surveys in advance of each Pető method training camp.
When parents/guardians have agreed to participate in the study, their child will be randomly allocated to start Pető method training as soon as possible, or to a list of courses starting after approx. four months (randomisation). This random distribution to the next or any later Pető method training is done in order to know whether any differences in the functions to be mapped can be attributed to Pető method training and not to other factors.  
All the preschool children with cerebral palsy, are aged from three to six years, have been approved for Pető method training and have not received the type of training prior to participating in the study.
Start up is now in November 2010.
For more information about the study or wish to participate, please contact: 
 .First thoughts
  1. I hate the English word 'training' in this context. Maybe trening means something different in the Scandinavian languages.
  2. It looks rather an off-the shelf range of outcomes. Might there not have been modalities more appropriate to the goals and the nature of the approach itself?
  3. If this is to be a multi-centre evaluation then it is more than ever essential that the actual work is manualised 
  4. ' Systematic surveys' – just in advance of each camp? Perhaps I have misunderstood
  5. '...approved for Pető method training': this really does need more definition.
Will this study be producing interim reports? Where? How? I am sure that there are many who would follow its progress with great interest.

I apologise for not having noticed this study when it first appeared over the summer. At least, if things have gone to schedule with the November start-date then we should be already well on our way to reading that first interim report!

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Thursday, 31 March 2011 at 14:01:00 BST  

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