Cerebral Palsy Patients Flu Shot Study

The Center of Excellence for Cerebral Palsy (CP) Care and Research coordinates orthopedic surgeons, a nurse practitioner, physical therapists, speech language pathologists, occupational therapists, social workers, seating and mobility specialists, adaptive equipment specialists and orthotist who serve patients during comprehensive clinic visit.  Patients with Cerebral Palsy are at a higher risk of experiencing flu-related complications and may be less likely to be fully vaccinated.

In one flu season, 95 patients were seen in our CP Clinic.  Of this number, only 28% had received the flu shot at the time of their appointment.  Administration of the flu shot was offered during the CP Clinic visit and as a result, an additional 38% were given the shot.  This was a 10% increase in flu immunization as compared to the prior year among patients seen at the CP Clinic.  Efforts continue to increase flu immunization rates and track the impact of vaccinated versus non-vaccinated patients through a prospective observational cohort study in the CP Clinic.

Offering the influenza vaccine during a clinic visit where the patient is typically healthy may prevent flu-related complications.  The offering can avoid an additional visit to their primary care provider where they could be exposed to other illnesses.

During the 2023-2024 flu season, the CP Center will do a Quality Improvement project to study our patients’ vaccination rate since the COVID pandemic.  National and worldwide vaccination rates have decreased in recent years, and we’re looking to see if the same rates apply to our especially vulnerable patients.  

The Cerebral Palsy Clinic was made possible through a transformational gift from the Children’s Foundation of Memphis to the Campbell Clinic Foundation with the support of pediatric orthopaedic surgeons of Campbell Clinic and many healthcare specialists of Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.

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