Rising Star Distinction Winner: 2014/2015

Dr. Laura Brunton


The 2014-2015 recipient of the Pediatric Division’s “Rising Star Distinction” is Dr. Laura Brunton.  She obtained both her MPT and PhD degrees from Western University in 2014.  Under the supervision of Doreen Bartlett, she  developed a self-report measure of fatigue for adolescents and young adults with cerebral palsy (CP).  Doreen describes her thesis as a “marvelous blend of chapters”: one on the neurophysiological mechanisms of fatigue in CP, a systematic review of measures of fatigue in similar neurological populations, a phenomenology of the lived experience of CP (with a focus on experiences of fatigue and pain), a consensus process with clinicians (all aimed at generating and refining items for a new measure: The Fatigue Impact and Severity Self Assessment, which was presented at the 2014 American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine meeting in San Diego), and finally testing the psychometric properties (reliability and construct validity) on a large sample of youth with CP.  Doreen also describes being ‘so proud of the work that Laura has done’. Laura has recently been invited to participate in the working group of the Life Span Committee of the AACPDM.  Watch out for her! Laura has already contributed significantly with her MSc work in which she tested the reliability and validity of the Basal and Ceiling Approach of the Gross Motor Function Measure (in addition to publishing other papers).  She will make a huge contribution to the field of Pediatric Physical Therapy over the course of her clinical and academic career.