Our UHN programs and services are among the most advanced in the world. We have grouped our physicians, staff, services and resources into 10 medical programs to meet the needs of our patients and help us make the most of our resources.
University Health Network is a health care and medical research organization in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The scope of research and complexity of cases at UHN has made us a national and international source for discovery, education and patient care.
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Toronto (June 29, 2010) - After a brain injury, women often ask how the injury will affect their fertility, pregnancy and postpartum health. Now a new study provides some much-needed answers.
Published in the June issue of the Journal of Women's Health, the study is the most comprehensive investigation to date of women's health issues after traumatic brain injury.
"Traumatic brain injury is a major public health problem, yet little is known about its long-term effect on women's reproductive health," says Dr. Angela Colantonio, a senior scientist at Toronto Rehab and principal author of the study.
"Our findings provide important information for women who have experienced a traumatic brain injury, and for health professionals working with these women."
The study, which examined the health outcomes of 104 premenopausal women 5-12 years after moderate to severe brain injury, found that:
They suggest there are many possible reasons for women with TBI having fewer children and experiencing more problems after childbirth. Contributing factors could include: more depressive symptoms and fatigue; physical and cognitive demands of rearing a child; and financial reasons that may lead to a conscious decision not to have more children.
April Ferguson, who has children ages 5 and 7, can attest to the challenges of parenting after a brain injury. In 1995, Ferguson sustained a TBI when she was hit by a car while riding her bike. She spent 28 days in a coma and the next five years – including two months at Toronto Rehab – recovering from paralysis, speech impairment and a variety of cognitive problems.
The study was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and by Toronto Rehab, which receives an annual research grant from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
Data was drawn from eight participating centres: Toronto Rehab, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, St. Michael's Hospital, Bridgepoint Health, Hamilton General Hospital, Chedoke Hospital, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, Brain Injury Services of Northern Ontario, and the University of Toronto.
Dr. Colantonio holds the Saunderson Family Chair in Acquired Brain Injury Research at Toronto Rehab. She is also a Professor in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the University of Toronto.
Toronto Rehab is at the forefront of one of the most important and emerging frontiers in health care today―rehabilitation science. As a fully affiliated teaching and research hospital of the University of Toronto, Toronto Rehab is a leading academic provider of adult rehabilitation services, complex continuing care and long-term care. Toronto Rehab is revolutionizing rehabilitation knowledge and practice through research and education to maximize life.
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