Securing a future for responsible neuromodulation in children: The importance of maintaining a broad clinical gaze

Article English OPEN
Gardner, John (2017)
  • Publisher: Elsevier BV
  • Journal: European Journal of Paediatric Neurology, volume 21, issue 1, pages 49-55 (issn: 1090-3798, eissn: 1532-2130)
  • Related identifiers: pmc: PMC5282397, doi: 10.1016/j.ejpn.2016.04.019
  • Subject: Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health | Original Article | Bioethics | Patient-centred medicine | Clinical Neurology | Responsible research and innovation | Ethics | Deep brain stimulation

Aim This perspective paper provides an overview of several key tensions and challenges within the social context of neuromodulation, and it suggests a means of securing the future of paediatric neuromodulation in light of these. Results Tensions and challenges relate to: the considerable clinical and economic need for new therapies to manage neurological diseases; significant commercial involvement in the field; funding pressures; public perceptions (particularly unrealistic expectations); and the emerging Responsible Research and Innovation initiative. This paper argues that managing these challenges and tensions requires that clinicians working within the field adopt what could be called a broad clinical gaze. This paper will define the broad clinical gaze, and it will propose several ways in which a broad clinical gaze can be – and indeed is being – operationalised in recent advances in neuromodulation in children. These include the use of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary clinical team structures, the adoption of clinical assessment tools that capture day-to-day functionality, and the use of patient registries. Conclusion By adopting a broad clinical gaze, clinicians and investigators can ensure that the field as a whole can responsibly and ethically deliver on its significant clinical potential.
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