Dr. Larry Mullins, Director of the Center for Pediatric Psychology (CPP), and Dana Bakula, current CPP trainee and pre-doctoral intern at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, gave an invited address at the Rehabilitation Psychology Mid-Winter Meeting in February. This presentation, entitled Translating Pediatric Psychology Clinical Science into the Rehabilitation Setting, was invited to represent the field of Pediatric Rehabilitation at this year’s annual conference. During this address, Dr. Mullins and Dana discussed the history of pediatric psychology research pertaining to children with complex medical conditions and disabilities. The pair discussed ways in which this wealth of literature has historically been applied with pediatric rehabilitation populations, as well as identified opportunities for further application of evidence-based pediatric psychology interventions to work with these families.
The pair ended the address with a compelling call to action to address the paucity of pediatric rehabilitation research and available workforce. They suggested 1) the development of new research efforts, 2) the development of opportunities for training in pediatric rehabilitation psychology at the graduate and post-graduate levels, and 3) collaboration among psychologists in these settings to promote coordinated quality improvement and research efforts. Dr. Mullins and Dana are both quite passionate about pediatric rehabilitation psychology and plan to continue promoting high-quality research and clinical care for pediatric rehabilitation populations. Dana’s dissertation study focuses on parent psychosocial adjustment among parents of children admitted for inpatient rehabilitation at The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital (TCCRH) in Bethany, Oklahoma. Dr. Mullins has a long history of research and clinical work with rehabilitation populations, serves as Dana’s primary mentor for her dissertation project, and continues to engage in research with pediatric rehabilitation populations through TCCRH.