Physical Therapy Research and Innovation

The department participates in many research activities, including clinical research, poster presentations and publications. Our therapists are either principal investigators in studies or participate as PT and OT evaluators in collaborative research with other departments. We have also participated in a research summit sponsored by the American Physical Therapy Association Research Special Interest Group. Recent studies for which our therapists have been principal investigators include retrospective chart reviews of outcome measurements in the pediatric pain population, activity in the cystic fibrosis population, development of the PEDI-CAT for the neuromuscular population and development of a robotic device to improve grasp in children with hemiplegia.

Recent collaborative studies have included natural history research and clinical drug trials in the neuromuscular population, drug trials in rare diseases, such as progeria, outcomes in lung transplants in the cystic fibrosis population, interventions for temporal-mandibular dysfunction and chronic pain in the pediatric population and validation of predictive measures the premature population.

We have presented posters at regional and national conferences of the American Physical Therapy Association, the American Occupational Therapy Association, and the National Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Research has been published in or has been submitted for publication to scientific, neurology, pain, psychological journals and profession specific journals and publications. Innovations which the department has led include the above mentioned robotic device which is patented, new concepts in constraint devices and modifications of dynamic movement orthoses.