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Carol DeMatteo has a dual background as an occupational therapist and physiotherapist and is a Professor in the School of Rehabilitation Science at McMaster University. Professor DeMatteo specializes in childhood neurotrauma, specifically acquired brain injury including concussion, and acts as a Scientist for the CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research at McMaster and a co-chair for the Quality Standards Committee on Concussion Standards for Health Quality Ontario.
Prof. DeMatteo and her research team have developed and evaluated evidence-based Return to School (RTS) and Return to Activity (RTA) guidelines to help children through their concussion recovery. Prof. DeMatteo recently disseminated findings on adherence to the RTA and RTS guidelines in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine. In addition to this work, Prof. DeMatteo and colleagues examined the recovery trajectories of children/youth with concussion who followed the RTA and RTS protocols simultaneously, data which is published in Frontiers in Neurology.
On the basis of feedback collected from a prospective cohort study and a systematic review (published in BMJ Open Sport and Exercise Medicine), Prof. DeMatteo and her team updated the 2015 RTA and RTS protocols. The 2019 CanChild RTA and RTS guidelines are available in English and French, here. In evaluating the 2015 CanChild RTA and RTS protocols, Prof. DeMatteo found that children/youth had difficulties following the guidelines due to lack of feedback and guidance. To address these issues, Prof. DeMatteo and her team were awarded a CIHR and NSERC Collaborative Health Research Projects Grant to develop a concussion management platform (the Back2Play App) for children/youth with concussion. The Back2Play App will help guide children/youth through the RTA and RTS protocols by incorporating biological feedback, movement data and cognitive assessments, and is currently in development.