Category: Uncategorized

Winter 2012 Newsletter: Boston ROC’s Second Year!

March 5th, 2012 in Uncategorized

Boston Duck Pond

We are beginning our second year and are working hard to advance rehabilitation research by improving rehabilitation outcome measurement.  Over the last year, Boston ROC sponsored 5 pilot studies and two Visiting Scientists.  We are now accepting for applications to fund the 2012-2013 pilot study projects and Visiting Scientist position.  The application deadline is March 15, 2012, so visit our website to learn more and pass this information to colleagues who may be interested.

Our Core Directors in Patient-Reported Outcomes, Performance-based Measures and Instrumented Outcome Measure cores are eager to provide consultation for your research questions.   Over the last year Boston ROC provided an average of four consultations every month.  If you have questions about selecting outcome measures for a study, please register for consultation on our website.

Boston ROC recently received a conference grant from AHRQ to sponsor a conference, New Frontiers in Disability-Related Comparative Effectiveness Research.  The conference will be held at Boston University on Friday, June 22nd.  Visit our website for more information.

This newsletter highlights Wendy Coster, PhD, OT/L, FAOTA, the Director of Boston ROC’s Director of Patient-Reported Outcomes core.  Learn more about Dr. Coster’s contributions to the rehabilitation field.

On behalf everyone at Boston ROC we thank you for your interest and look forward to serving the rehabilitation research community over the next year.

Click here to view the Boston ROC Winter 2012 Newsletter

Visiting Scientist Jacob Kean Recieves VA Career Development Award

February 29th, 2012 in Uncategorized

Jacob Kean  PhD, CCC-SLP, Boston ROC Visiting Scientist has received a VA Career Development Award to continue his work developing Patient/Clinician Reported Outcomes for veterans with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI).

Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) has affected thousands of veterans involved in recent military conflicts. Persistent symptoms occur in 10-20% of patients with mTBI. The sponsored project is designed to develop an assessment tool to measure the self-management knowledge, skills and beliefs of veterans with mTBI that would be paired with symptom assessment tools and linked to evidence-based rehabilitation approaches. This comprehensive assessment system would be delivered using existing telehealth infrastructure, significantly extending the ability of care managers to monitor veterans with mild traumatic brain injury and reduce the long-term psychosocial and medical needs from both persistent deficits and problems that develop in later life, including increased risk of suicide, homelessness, unemployment, marital discord, neurodegenerative diseases, and reduced community participation.

Jacob Kean joined the Boston ROC team in June 2011 as our second Visiting Scientist.  Since then, he has been working with Alan Jette, PT PhD, Wendy Coster PhD OTR/L, FAOTA, and Pengsheng Ni MD MPH on the qualitative measurement development activities needed to create a measure, and advanced psychometric and factor analytic techniques needed to develop a measure administered adaptively through the use of a computer adaptive testing (CAT).

Boston ROC Co-Director Alan Jette, PhD, PT, to Receive the Mary McMillan Lecture Award

February 28th, 2012 in ROC Blog, Uncategorized

Alan Jette, PT, PhD, was selected for the Mary McMillan Lecture Award, and will present his lecture at the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) 2012 Annual Meeting in Tampa, FL in June.  The Mary McMillan Lecture Award is given annually to someone who has “made distinguished contributions to the profession of physical therapy in the areas administration, education, patient care, or research.”

Dr. Jette’s presentation will focus on America’s impeding demographic shift of enormous magnitude: increasing longevity, declining fertility, and the aging of the baby boom which are triggering an enormous ‘age wave.’ We are facing changing health care needs of Americans, the challenge of limited access to all health care services by millions of our citizens, and unsustainable cost escalation. In response health care is changing fundamentally. In the 2012 McMillan Lecture, Dr. Jette will discuss three critical ‘system skills’ that physical therapists must develop to practice successfully in a changing health care environment. First, to practice effectively, therapists must become interested in data. Secondly, they must become skilled in the ability to devise solutions for the system problems that data and experience uncover. And finally, the third skill the physical therapy profession must develop is the ability to implement at scale – the ability to get therapists and other health professionals along the entire chain of care functioning in concert, in collaboration. He will discuss Vision 2020 as it relates to these challenges and the degree to which I believe we as physical therapists are equipped with the system skills needed to function within effective health care systems, skills such as: standardized measurement and data collection, quality improvement & implementation techniques, diffusion of standardized practice models and innovations, and research skills to conduct comparative and cost effectiveness research that we need to identify what works in physical therapy, for what conditions, under what circumstances, and at what cost.

Click here for more information regarding PT 12, and the McMillian award.

Disability Related CER Conference: Save the Date!

February 14th, 2012 in ROC Blog, Uncategorized

Disability CER Title






Save the Date:
June 22, 2012
New Frontiers in Disability Related Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER)
Boston University, Boston MA

Comparative effectiveness research (CER) is needed to identify the most effective interventions and inform consumer healthcare decisions.  Persons with disabilities comprise a large and growing segment of the U.S. population, but are under-represented as a focus for CER.  A significant problem is the lack of researchers with training in disability-related CER.

Presentations and discussion of key topics:

  • Selecting the most appropriate study design;
  • Identifying a meaningful diagnostic or functional classification system ;
  • Accurately describing interventions;
  • Selecting appropriate outcomes measures.

Workshops to discuss application of CER with specific populations and in different settings.

Discussion of CER funding opportunities with representative of key federal agencies.

This conference is a collaborative effort among three centers funded by the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research to promote research capacity building.

Learn more about the Center for Rehabilitation Research Using Large Datasets (CRRLD) here:

Learn more about the Boston Rehabilitation Outcomes Measurement Center (Boston ROC) here:

Learn more about the Center for the Translation of Rehabilitation Engineering Advances and Technology (TREAT) here:

Three R24 Logos banner

NCMRR banner

Funding for this conference was made possible [in part] by 1 R13 HS021405-01 from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of Department of Health and Human Services; not does the mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsements by the U.S. Government.

Jonathan Bean, MD, MS MPH in Physical Therapy

January 10th, 2012 in Uncategorized

Boston ROC Performance Based Measures (PBM) Core Co-Director Jonathan Bean, MD, MS, MPH has a new article in December, 2011 Physical Therapy:

Performance Based Versus Patient Reported Physical Function: What are the Underlying Predictors?

Boston ROC Co-Edits Physical Therapy special issue on Advances in Disability Research

January 10th, 2012 in Uncategorized

Alan Jette, PT PhD and Nancy Latham, PT PhD were co-editors of the December, 2011 issue of Physical Therapy, which is a special issue focusing on Advances in Disability Research.

Doctors Jette and Latham also contributed to the symposium, “RCTs on Disability Intervention in Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation: Unique Challenges and Opportunities”, which took place at PT 2011: the Annual Conference and Exposition of the American Physical Therapy Association on June 8, 2011, in National Harbor, Maryland.  The podcast can be accessed below:

Symposium Podcast: “RCTs on Disability Intervention in Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation: Unique Challenges and Opportunities”Participants: Alan M. Jette, PT, PhD, FAPTA; G. Kelley Fitzgerald, PT, PhD, FAPTA; Nancy K. Latham, PT, PhD; Jessie M. VanSwearingen, PT, PhD, FAPTA; and Carolee Winstein, PT, PhD, FAPTA.

Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation In Memoriam: Stephen Haley, PT, PhD, FAPTA

September 27th, 2011 in ROC Blog, Uncategorized

The most recent issue of  issue of Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation pays tribute to our colleague, Stephen M. Haley, PT, PhD, FAPTA 1951 – 2011.

Read the full article here.

Boston ROC welcomes Wendy Coster, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA as the new Director of the Patient/Clinician Reported Outcomes (PRO) Core!

September 2nd, 2011 in Uncategorized

The Boston ROC is pleased to welcome Wendy Coster, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA as the new Director of the Patient/Clinician Reported Outcomes (PRO) Core!

Wendy CosterDr. Coster has a distinguished career in rehabilitation outcome measurement.  She is the co-author of the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (PEDI), and School Function Assessment (SFA), two of the first standardized functional assessments designed specifically for children with disabilities.  Dr. Coster has been at the forefront of the development of patient/clinician reported computer adaptive tests (CATs).  She was instrumental in the development of the Activity Measure for Post-Acute Care (AM-PAC) CAT, which is used in the adult population, and the PEDI-CAT for children.  Her most recent project was development of a measure of participation and environment for children and youth that could be used in population-level survey research. Dr. Coster is a leader in occupational therapy.  She is a Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association, a member of the Academy of Research of the American Occupational Therapy Foundation, a recipient of the A. Jean Ayres Research Award, the Sargent College Award of Merit, and the 2007 Eleanor Clarke Slagle Award.

Read more about Dr.Coster, the PRO Core, and all of the Boston ROC Collaborators here.

Stephen M. Haley, PT, PhD, FAPTA 1951 – 2011

July 18th, 2011 in Uncategorized

Steve announcement

It is with great sadness that we announce the loss of Dr Stephen Haley, husband, father, grandfather, brother, as well as a friend, colleague and mentor to many.  Steve passed away on July 16th at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston after a long and hard-fought battle against leukemia.  Steve was diagnosed in 2006 and had a successful stem cell transplant.  Unfortunately, he developed graft versus host disease, which severely compromised his lung function.  Throughout this ordeal, Steve remained positive and continued to make significant scientific and professional contributions.  However, his lung function deteriorated to the point where his only option was a lung transplant.  Steve received a lung transplant on June 22nd but developed fatal complications.

Steve leaves his wife Karen, daughters Emily and Beth, and one granddaughter Abby. Steve was an esteemed colleague, valued mentor, and generous friend to numerous rehabilitation researchers with whom he collaborated across the globe.  He was passionate about improving the quality of rehabilitation research and was particularly committed to improving the care and quality of life of children with disabilities. Over the past 5 years Steve set a high standard of courage and of intellectual commitment in the face of a devastating and painful illness and significant impairments.

Steve received his certificate in physical therapy in 1974 from Ohio State University and was awarded a PhD in educational psychology in 1983 from the University of Washington.  He was a distinguished researcher and scholar in the development and application of rehabilitation outcome measures in research and clinical practice with children and adults.  During his career, he received numerous prestigious grant awards from the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research. He contributed over 150 scholarly articles to the health care literature.  He was a gifted teacher and engaging speaker who was sought after to lecture around the world. In the 1990’s, he led a team that developed the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (PEDI), used worldwide to evaluate the functioning of children with disabilities.  Throughout his research career, he challenged himself and others to apply the most cutting-edge research and technological developments to the field of rehabilitation.  His enormous scope of work, productivity and commitment to the highest standards of research conduct challenged and inspired his students and colleagues.

At the time of his death, Steve was Professor of Health Policy & Management at the Boston University School of Public Health, Associate Director of its Health & Disability Research Institute, and served as Director of Research of the Center for Children with Special Health Care Needs at Boston’s Franciscan Hospital. He received numerous awards for this research and scholarship including, in 1993, the Golden Pen Award for contributions to the Physical Therapy Journal and, in 2006, the Helen Hislop Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Professional Literature in Physical Therapy. In 2009 he was selected a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association.

The rehabilitation field has benefited from Steve’s many contributions. We will miss Steve’s intellect, passion, warmth and humor. We will keep you informed as we consider suitable ways to honor Steve’s life.

Boston ROC welcomes its new Visiting Scientist, Dr. Jacob Kean

June 30th, 2011 in Uncategorized

Dr. Kean’s research interests include the assessment and treatment of acquired neurogenic cognitive and communicative disorders. He  currently directs projects to evaluate the impact of prescription medications on early cognitive recovery following traumatic brain injury and serves as a collaborator on several projects to refine measures of postacute rehabilitation outcome, telehealth compliance, and severe mental illness treatment fidelity. For more information on Dr. Kean and his work at Boston ROC, click here.