Profile

Kristie F. Bjornson, PT, PhD

Kristie F. Bjornson, PT, PhD

Academic Title: Associate Professor, Pediatrics, Developmental Medicine

Research Center: Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development

"One of the most energizing experiences I have as a pediatric physical therapist is seeing a child accomplish a motor skill (such as walking) that was not thought possible because of the child's problems. Parents' excitement and miraculous belief when their child walks, even though "everyone said they would never walk," motivates me. I love the challenge of figuring out ways to study, measure and improve physical activity and life participation for kids with physical limitations. I strive to support these kids to "do what they want to do when they want to do it" and have full and meaningful lives."

Kristie Bjornson, PT, PhD, PCS is a Board Certified Pediatric Physical Therapist with over 30 years of clinical experience in settings such as the NICU, public schools, birth-to-three centers, and at Seattle Children's Hospital (SCH) Seattle, Washington. Ms. Bjornson is currently an Associate Professor, Developmental Medicine, Pediatrics at the University of Washington and Seattle Children's Hospital Research Institute.

Since 1989 she has been the Research Coordinator for the Spasticity Management Clinic at SCH, serving as the project coordinator for the randomized clinical trial and meta-analysis of selective dorsal rhizotomy, botulinum toxin-A and a descriptive cross sectional study of intrathecal baclofen (ITB) therapy.

Ms. Bjornson's doctoral work focused on the assessment of physical activity, health and quality of life in ambulatory children with cerebral palsy and normative ambulatory data for the StepWatch accelerometer. In 2008, she was awarded the Section on Pediatrics, APTA dissertation award along with the best manuscript published by a student in the Pediatric Physical Therapy Journal Jeanne Hughes award in 2009. Presently, she has an NICHD NIH K23 career development award focusing on the measurement of ambulatory physical activity and participation in daily life of children with cerebral palsy and the influence of orthotics.

A member of the American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine (AACPDM), Ms. Bjornson has served on the Membership, Research, Adaptive Sports and Recreation Committees, been the Annual meeting Scientific Program Chair as well as secretary on the AACPDM Board of Directors. She has been an item writer for the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Pediatric Board Certification exam and has participated on the APTA Section on Pediatrics program and research committees.

Overview

Clinical Interests

Physical Therapy

Research Description

Kristie Bjornson, PhD, PT, PCS is a Board Certified Pediatric Physical Therapist with over 30 years of clinical experience in settings such as the NICU, public schools, birth-to-three centers, and at Seattle Children's Hospital. Since 1989 she has been the Research Coordinator for the Spasticity Management Clinic at Seattle Children's, serving as the project coordinator for the randomized clinical trials of selective dorsal rhizotomy, botulinum toxin-A and a descriptive cross sectional study of intrathecal baclofen (ITB) therapy. Ms. Bjornson's recent research has focused on the assessment of physical activity, health and quality of life in ambulatory children with cerebral palsy and normative ambulatory data for the StepWatch accelerometer. Presently, she has an NICHD K23 career development award focusing on the measurement of physical activity and participation in daily life of ambulatory children with cerebral palsy.

Research Focus Area

Neuroscience / Neurodevelopment

Awards and Honors

Award Name Award Description Awarded By Award Date
Stephen M. Haley Research Award Pediatric Section, American Physical Therapy Association 2014
Jeanne Hughes Award - American Physical Therapy Association American Physical Therapy Association Jan. 1, 2009
Pediatrics Dissertation Award American Physical Therapy Association, Section on Pediatrics 2008
The Richmond Cerebral Palsy Award 1998 (co-recipient) 1998
The Richmond Cerebral Palsy Award 1996 American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine 1996
The Richmond Cerebral Palsy Award 1991 (co-recipient) American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine 1991

Publications

  • Bjornson KF, Zhou C, Stevenson R, Christakis DA
    Capacity to participation in cerebral palsy: evidence of an indirect path via performance.
    Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation , 2013 Dec. : 94(12)2365-72
  • Bjornson KF, Zhou C, Stevenson R, Christakis D, Song K
    Walking activity patterns in youth with cerebral palsy and youth developing typically.
    Disability and rehabilitation , 2013 Oct. 25
  • Balemans AC, Fragala-Pinkham MA, Lennon N, Thorpe D, Boyd RN, O'Neil ME, Bjornson K, Becher JG, Dallmeijer AJ
    Systematic review of the clinimetric properties of laboratory- and field-based aerobic and anaerobic fitness measures in children with cerebral palsy.
    Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation , 2013 Feb. : 94(2)287-301
  • Sheiko M, Bjornson K, Lisle J, Song K, Eary JF, Conrad EU 3rd
    Physical activity assessment in adolescents with limb salvage.
    The Journal of pediatrics , 2012 Dec. : 161(6)1138-41
  • Fragala-Pinkham MA, O'Neil ME, Bjornson KF, Boyd RN
    Fitness and physical activity in children and youth with disabilities.
    International journal of pediatrics , 2012 : 2012162648
  • Bjornson K, Coyner P
    Commentary on "Physiological demands of therapeutic horseback riding in children with moderate to severe motor impairments: an exploratory study".
    Pediatric physical therapy : the official publication of the Section on Pediatrics of the American Physical Therapy Association , 2012 : 24(3)258
  • Bagley AM, Gorton GE, Bjornson K, Bevans K, Stout JL, Narayanan U, Tucker CA
    Factor- and item-level analyses of the 38-item activities scale for kids-performance.
    Developmental medicine and child neurology , 2011 Feb. : 53(2)161-6
  • Littleton SR, Heriza CB, Mullens PA, Moerchen VA, Bjornson K
    Effects of positioning on respiratory measures in individuals with cerebral palsy and severe scoliosis.
    Pediatric physical therapy : the official publication of the Section on Pediatrics of the American Physical Therapy Association , 2011 : 23(2)159-69
  • Bjornson K, Kobayashi A, Zhou C, Walker W
    Relationship of therapy to postsecondary education and employment in young adults with physical disabilities.
    Pediatric physical therapy : the official publication of the Section on Pediatrics of the American Physical Therapy Association , 2011 : 23(2)179-86
  • Glew GM, Fan MY, Hagland S, Bjornson K, Beider S, McLaughlin JF
    Survey of the use of massage for children with cerebral palsy.
    International journal of therapeutic massage & bodywork , 2010 Dec. 16 : 3(4)10-5
  • Bjornson K, Song K, Lisle J, Robinson S, Killien E, Barrett T, Zhou C
    Measurement of walking activity throughout childhood: influence of leg length.
    Pediatric exercise science , 2010 Nov. : 22(4)581-95
  • Yocum A, McCoy SW, Bjornson KF, Mullens P, Burton GN
    Reliability and validity of the standing heel-rise test.
    Physical & occupational therapy in pediatrics , 2010 Aug. : 30(3)190-204
  • Yocum A, McCoy SW, Bjornson KF, Mullens P, Burton GN
    Reliability and validity of the standing heel-rise test.
    Physical & occupational therapy in pediatrics , 2010 Aug. : 190-204
  • Howlett JP, Mosca VS, Bjornson K
    The association between idiopathic clubfoot and increased internal hip rotation.
    Clinical orthopaedics and related research , 2009 May : 467(5)1231-7
  • Dillon ER, Bjornson KF, Jaffe KM, Hall JG, Song K
    Ambulatory activity in youth with arthrogryposis: a cohort study.
    Journal of pediatric orthopedics , 2009 Mar. : 214-7
  • Bjornson K
    Activity limitations: what are they really doing?
    Developmental medicine and child neurology , 2008 Mar. : 50(3)166
  • Bjornson KF, Belza B, Kartin D, Logsdon RG, McLaughlin J
    Self-reported health status and quality of life in youth with cerebral palsy and typically developing youth.
    Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation , 2008 Jan. : 89(1)121-7
  • Bjornson KF, Belza B, Kartin D, Logsdon R, McLaughlin J, Thompson EA
    The relationship of physical activity to health status and quality of life in cerebral palsy.
    Pediatric physical therapy : the official publication of the Section on Pediatrics of the American Physical Therapy Association , 2008 : 20(3)247-53
  • Bjornson KF, Belza B, Kartin D, Logsdon RG, McLaughlin J
    Self-reported health status and quality of life in youth with cerebral palsy and typically developing youth.
    Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation , 2008 Jan. : 121-7
  • Bjornson KF, Belza B, Kartin D, Logsdon R, McLaughlin J, Thompson EA
    The relationship of physical activity to health status and quality of life in cerebral palsy.
    Pediatric physical therapy : the official publication of the Section on Pediatrics of the American Physical Therapy Association , 2008 : 247-53
  • Bjornson KF, Belza B, Kartin D, Logsdon R, McLaughlin JF
    Ambulatory physical activity performance in youth with cerebral palsy and youth who are developing typically.
    Physical therapy , 2007 Mar. : 87(3)248-57
  • Bjornson KF, Belza B, Kartin D, Logsdon R, McLaughlin JF
    Ambulatory physical activity performance in youth with cerebral palsy and youth who are developing typically.
    Physical therapy , 2007 Mar. : 248-57
  • Waters E, Davis E, Mackinnon A, Boyd R, Graham HK, Kai Lo S, Wolfe R, Stevenson R, Bjornson K, Blair E, Hoare P, Ravens-Sieberer U, Reddihough D
    Psychometric properties of the quality of life questionnaire for children with CP.
    Developmental medicine and child neurology , 2007 Jan. : 49(1)49-55
  • Bjornson KF, Schmale GA, Adamczyk-Foster A, McLaughlin J
    The effect of dynamic ankle foot orthoses on function in children with cerebral palsy.
    Journal of pediatric orthopedics , 2006 Nov. : 26(6)773-6
  • Bjornson KF, Schmale GA, Adamczyk-Foster A, McLaughlin J
    The effect of dynamic ankle foot orthoses on function in children with cerebral palsy.
    Journal of pediatric orthopedics , 2006 Nov. : 773-6
  • Song KM, Bjornson KF, Cappello T, Coleman K
    Use of the StepWatch activity monitor for characterization of normal activity levels of children.
    Journal of pediatric orthopedics , 2006 Mar. : 245-9
  • McLaughlin JF, Felix SD, Nowbar S, Ferrel A, Bjornson K, Hays RM
    Lower extremity sensory function in children with cerebral palsy.
    Pediatric rehabilitation , 2005 Jan. : 8(1)45-52
  • Bjornson KF
    Physical activity monitoring in children and youths.
    Pediatric physical therapy : the official publication of the Section on Pediatrics of the American Physical Therapy Association , 2005 : 17(1)37-45
  • Bjornson KF
    Physical activity monitoring in children and youths.
    Pediatric physical therapy : the official publication of the Section on Pediatrics of the American Physical Therapy Association , 2005 : 37-45
  • Bjornson KF, Belza B
    Ambulatory activity monitoring in youth: state of the science.
    Pediatric physical therapy : the official publication of the Section on Pediatrics of the American Physical Therapy Association , 2004 : 16(2)82-9
  • Bjornson KF, Belza B
    Ambulatory activity monitoring in youth: state of the science.
    Pediatric physical therapy : the official publication of the Section on Pediatrics of the American Physical Therapy Association , 2004 : 82-9
  • Bjornson KF, McLaughlin JF, Loeser JD, Nowak-Cooperman KM, Russel M, Bader KA, Desmond SA
    Oral motor, communication, and nutritional status of children during intrathecal baclofen therapy: a descriptive pilot study.
    Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation , 2003 Apr, : 500-6
  • Campbell WM, Ferrel A, McLaughlin JF, Grant GA, Loeser JD, Graubert C, Bjornson K
    Long-term safety and efficacy of continuous intrathecal baclofen.
    Developmental medicine and child neurology , 2002 Oct. : 44(10)660-5
  • McLaughlin J, Bjornson K, Temkin N, Steinbok P, Wright V, Reiner A, Roberts T, Drake J, O'Donnell M, Rosenbaum P, Barber J, Ferrel A
    Selective dorsal rhizotomy: meta-analysis of three randomized controlled trials.
    Developmental medicine and child neurology , 2002 Jan. : 44(1)17-25
  • Abel MF, Damiano DL, McLaughlin JF, Song KM, Graubert CS, Bjornson KF
    Comparison of functional outcomes from orthopedic and neurosurgical interventions in spastic diplegia.
    Neurosurgical focus , 1998 Jan. 15 : e2

Research Funding

Grant Title Grantor Amount Award Date
Ankle Foot Orthoses - Footwear Combination Biomechanics and Walking Activity in Cerebral Palsy Seattle Children's Research Institute - CHBD Stimulus Funds/CCTR Translational Research Ingnition Project 2014 - 2015
On Track Longitudinal Project 2013 - 2016
Activity and Participation in Ambulatory Cerebral Palsy Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award $632,903.00 Jan. 1, 2009
The Relationship of School Based Therapy Services on Transition to Adulthood American Physical Therapy Association $10,000.00 Jan. 1, 2008
Baclofen Safety and Efficacy Trials (BEST) Network American Physical Therapy Association $10,000.00 Jan. 1, 2006
StepWatch3 Accuracy for Energy Expenditure Prediction Research Intramural Funding Program, School of Nursing, University of Washington $01.01.08