The American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting is in San Antonio,
ENACT Spotlight: Principal Investigator Dr. Jessica Maxwell
ENACT’s Project 3 is a two-part study investigating the impact of total knee replacement on participation, which is defined as participating in “life roles”, such as home and community activities like taking care of one’s home, attending social activities, and managing one’s health. Part one of Dr. Maxwell’s study uses data from the Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study (MOST)a large cohort study of over 3000 people in Iowa and Alabama with or at risk of knee osteoarthritis and the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI), a similar study of over 4000 subjects from four study sites. Participation was measured in these studies using the Late Life Function and Disability Instrument (LLDI), which was developed by disability researchers at Boston University. Initial results show that approximately 1/3 of people after knee replacement are having trouble with respect to participation. This information is significant given the recent dramatic rise in total knee replacement, a figure that is projected to continue increasing with the prevalence of knee osteoarthritis in the population. “As the population of older people with knee osteoarthritis is increasing, more people are getting knee replacements, so it’s important to know how they can improve their lives and what they can do to lessen pain,” Maxwell said. In part 2 of the project, Dr. Maxwell is conducting individual interviews with people who have reported continued difficulty with community participation 1 to 5 years following total knee replacement surgery. The goal of this study is to gain a better understanding of home and community participation following total knee replacement by exploring people’s perceptions regarding the factors that make participation difficult.
“The first step to finding solutions is to identify it as a problem,” Maxwell said. “Our studies have begun to prove that, so as we go on, we can begin to see how the problems can be solved.”
Findings from the first part of Dr. Maxwell’s research have been published in the Physical Therapy Journal. The article, titled “Participation following knee replacement: The MOST cohort study” appeared in the November print version of PTJ.
Dr. Maxwell is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Boston University’s Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and is a collaborator with Boston University School of Medicine’s Clinical Epidemiology Unit. She is a board certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist and received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions.
Story by Ammarah Usmani