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Multidisciplinary spina bifida clinic: the Chicago experience

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Abstract

Open spina bifida (open SB) is the most complex congenital abnormality of the central nervous system compatible with long-term survival. Multidisciplinary care is required to address the effect of this disease on the neurological, musculoskeletal, genitourinary, and gastrointestinal systems, as well as the complex psychosocial impact on the developing child. Individuals with SB benefit from the involvement of neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, urologists, physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists, pediatricians, psychologists, physical/occupational/speech therapists, social workers, nurse coordinators, and other personnel. Multidisciplinary clinics are the gold standard for coordinated, optimal medical and surgical care. Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, formerly known as Children’s Memorial Hospital, was one of the first hospitals in the USA to manage patients with this complex disease in a multidisciplinary manner. We describe the longitudinal experience of the multidisciplinary Spina Bifida Center at our institution and highlight the advances that have arisen from this care model over time. This clinic serves as an exemplar of organized, effective, and patient-centered approach to the comprehensive care of people living with open SB.

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NAS conceptualized the idea and wrote the manuscript draft. EBY, VTS, SL, and DGM assisted in conceptualizing and revising the manuscript. RB conceptualized the idea, assisted in revising the manuscript, and provided project supervision. All authors reviewed and approved the submitted manuscript.

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Correspondence to Robin M. Bowman.

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Shlobin, N.A., Yerkes, E.B., Swaroop, V.T. et al. Multidisciplinary spina bifida clinic: the Chicago experience. Childs Nerv Syst 38, 1675–1681 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00381-022-05594-5

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