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‌Sleep positioning systems: a randomised controlled trial

The aim of this research was to evaluate whether sleep positioning systems are effective to help children with cerebral palsy to be more comfortable in bed, reduce any pain, improve their sleep, prevent deformity, and potentially avoid the need for surgery.

This was an ‘exploratory’ pilot study to help in the development of a protocol for a larger definitive trial that would answer the research question. It identified whether clinicians and families would participate in the trial, whether families find such systems acceptable, are able to use them as prescribed and any effects on sleep.

The study was funded by the NIHR Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) programme. The research team was led by Dr Donna Cowan at Chailey Heritage Clinical Services at Sussex Community NHS Trust.


The experience of running this trial was presented at the European Academy of Childhood Disability in 2015: Exploring the challenges in conducting a randomised controlled trial (RCT) into night-time positioning for children with cerebral palsy.

For more information about this study, get in touch.