By Elizabeth Simpson

Julie Keysor Invited to Speak about Work It Trial at Rheumatology 2017 in Birmingham, UK

March 21st, 2017 in News Feed, Uncategorized

ENACT’s Director and Principal Investigator for the Work It Trial will be at Rheumatology 2017, the British Society for Rheumatology’s annual conference April 25-27th, 2017 in Birmingham, United Kingdom.

Dr. Keysor will present results from “Work It”, her recent clinical trial investigating an intervention to address work barriers. The presentation title is “The work experience survey for rheumatic conditions (WES-RC): Evidence and applications” (Tuesday 11:30am – 11:55am).

The presentation will be part of a session on employment interventions for people with arthritis, titled “Staying at work: Work assessments and rehabilitative interventions for people with Inflammatory Arthritis.” Join Julie and the other the presenters on Tuesday Apr 25 from 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM!

ENACT Director Julie Keysor co-directs new Boston University Mobile Health Affinity Research Collaborative (ARC)

March 21st, 2017 in News Feed

ENACT director Julie Keysor, with co-directors Lisa Quintiliani and Belinda Borrelli, recently received an internal award from the Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research to lead a new Affinity Research Collaborative (ARC) project with the goal of advancing the science of mobile and electronic health at Boston University.

The ARC is an interdisciplinary collaboration that brings together researchers from across Boston University—including colleagues from the School of Medicine, School of Dental Medicine, and College of Engineering—to conduct research in mobile health (mHealth) and electronic health (eHealth) to improve the health of underserved populations across the lifespan. The project will also conduct training activities at the university designed to enhance the competencies of researchers interested in mHealth and eHealth and to support the development of interdisciplinary research collaborations.

Dr. Keysor is PI for one of three pilot projects included in the ARC initiative to build effective mHealth and eHealth applications on the basis current, evidence-based research. Keysor’s project, “Development of a Novel e-Health App for Knee OA Exercise Adherence,” will develop features of a new mobile application to support adherence to physical activity programs among people with knee osteoarthritis (OA), a group among whom physical activity levels are notoriously low. Based on this feedback, investigators will develop a prototype and intervention program followed by user testing.

ENACT Presents Work from Exercise and Employment Trials at APTA-CSM, February 15-18

February 2nd, 2017 in News Feed

The American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting is in San Antonio, TX this year and runs from February 15-18th, 2017. ENACT will be there, presenting work from our two recently concluded randomized controlled trials: the “Work It” employment retention trial and the “BOOST” trial on long-term adherence to exercise.

Julie Keysor, PhD, PT, and PI of the “Work It Study” trial, will present “Efficacy of a Work Disability Prevention Program for People with Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Conditions: The Work It Randomized Controlled Trial”, where she’ll discuss main outcome results from the study.  Rehabilitation therapists (physical therapists and occupational therapists) delivered a novel intervention addressing work-related barriers and solutions among adults with chronic rheumatological and musculoskeletal conditions who were at risk of work loss due to their health. This approach was previously shown to be effective when delivered by vocational rehabilitation counselors and this study could lead the way for a broader range of therapists to intervene to prevent work disability for a population that is at high risk of work loss. This session is scheduled for Saturday, February 18th at 8 am.

In addition, ENACT pre-doctoral fellow Aileen Ledingham, PT, MS will present her poster “Adults with Knee Osteoarthritis: Perspectives on Telephone Technology to Support Adherence to Exercise”, an ancillary qualitative study to ENACT’s BOOST trial. Mrs. Ledingham received internal funding from Boston University to explore the perspectives of participants in the BOOST adherence trial regarding the technology used in the study. Ms. Ledingham’s work may lead to novel ways to promote adherence to physical activity programs. The poster session is on Thursday, February 15th from 1-3 pm.

We hope to see you at the meeting!

ENACT in the Community: The BOOST Exercise Program

December 15th, 2016 in News Feed, Winter 2016 Newsletter

Click here to view all stories from our Year End 2016 Newsletter

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ENACT fellow Aileen Ledingham assists with one of the BOOST exercises

Dr. Kristin Baker, PhD, PI of ENACT’s BOOST study, and doctoral fellow Aileen Ledingham, PT, MS, recently spent time exercising with members of The Historic Peoples Baptist Church of Boston. The congregation at Peoples Baptist Church has achieved great success with its Health Ministry since it began several years ago.  After starting a walking group with the support of ENACT and the New England Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation in 2010, the group has continued to ‘walk’ in strides! While the program has had excellent sustainability, the Boston winters always sidetrack the activity of the group. Those snow drifts can be pesky for people with arthritis!

To address this challenge, Dr. Baker extended our community programming initiatives by bringing the evidence-based BOOST exercise program to the members of the church to help them acquire a self-sustaining option to stay active during bad weather. Dr. Baker led one session per week for 4 weeks and then used some mHealth technology to support the interim sessions to encourage participants to develop confidence in both doing and leading the exercises. The group continues to use their BOOST training along with regular walking activity and anticipates that it will take them through the winter!

Peoples Baptist Church was recently a featured “FitChurch” in a Boston Black Ministerial Alliance video, where their accomplishments were touted as a model for other churches, with a goal of being replicated nationally in the religious community. Congratulations to Peoples on this well-earned recognition!

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ENACT’s Doctoral Fellows – Where Are They Now?

December 15th, 2016 in News Feed, Winter 2016 Newsletter

Click here to view all stories from our Year End 2016 Newsletter

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Drs. AlHeresh (left) and Vaughan after Boston University’s graduation ceremony

 Part of the mission of ENACT’s Rehabilitation Research and Training Center grant is to contribute to the future of rheumatological research by supporting doctoral students to obtain advanced degrees in rehabilitation science. In addition to tuition support, ENACT doctoral fellows assist in ongoing ENACT research and receive rigorous, interdisciplinary mentoring.  Two ENACT doctoral fellows have completed their training and are now working in the field.

Rawan AlHeresh, PhD, OT, completed the doctoral program in July 2015 and was accepted as an Advanced Rehabilitation Research and Training postdoctoral fellow at Boston University’s Health and Disability Research Institute, where she pursued her interest in outcome measurement. This postdoctoral fellowship program is supported by the National Institute for Disability Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR).  During her fellowship, Dr. AlHeresh worked with Elizabeth Marfeo, PhD, MPH, OTR/L, an Assistant Professor within the Tufts University Occupational Therapy Department and forged connections with researchers there. She will be joining Mass General Hospital’s Institute of Health Professions in the Department of Occupational Therapy in January.

Molly Vaughan, PhD, DPT, completed the doctoral program in April 2016 and began working as a Research Associate on ENACT’s Walkability Study, a collaboration with the University of North Carolina’s Thurston Arthritis Center funded jointly by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Arthritis Foundation.  Molly recently accepted a position with RTI International as a Research Public Health Analyst where she will be working on post-acute care setting outcome measure development and standardization as part of the Impact Act of 2010.

We look forward to the contributions of these scholars over the coming years! See more of our fellows’ work in the newsletter publications summary.

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Work It Study and BOOST Clinical Trial Results: Two Webinars Planned for 2017

December 15th, 2016 in News Feed, Winter 2016 Newsletter

Click here to view all stories from our Year End 2016 Newsletter

Keep a look out for upcoming webinars where we’ll disseminate findings from our 2-year randomized controlled trials: 1) Efficacy of a Modified Vocational Rehabilitation Intervention for Work Disability (the “Work it Study”), and 2) Can computer-based telephone counseling improve long-term adherence to strength training in elders with knee OA? (the BOOST study).

In the Work It Study, we evaluated whether a job barrier identification and solution generation process delivered by trained occupational and physical therapists minimized work disability among people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal conditions who were at risk of work loss over the upcoming few years. This study addresses an extremely important outcome for people with chronic rheumatological and musculoskeletal conditions, with estimates showing approximately 33% of people with these conditions are unemployed within 10 years of diagnosis.

The BOOST study investigated if a remote interactive technology intervention could improve adherence to a strength training program over 2 years in people with knee OA more than an automated message to encourage adherence. The efficacy of strength training to impact pain and function for people with knee OA is well-established, but less than 15% of individuals over age 65 report doing any strength training and poor long-term adherence has been observed in other trials. An effective approach to encourage adherence to strength training activity could be helpful for this population.

Once the manuscripts are accepted and in press, we will host webinars to share our results. Stay tuned! We think we have important findings for the field and welcome discussion with our colleagues.

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Clinical Trial Results the Focus of ENACT Presentations at ACR/ARHP & APTA-CSM Annual Meetings

December 15th, 2016 in News Feed, Winter 2016 Newsletter

Click here to view all stories from our Year End 2016 Newsletter

American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting, February 15-18, 2017, San Antonio, TX

If you’ll be in San Antonio in February for APTA-CSM, Julie Keysor, PhD, PT, will be there presenting results from the “Work It Study” trial.  Physical therapists delivered a novel intervention addressing work-related barriers and solutions among adults with chronic rheumatological and musculoskeletal conditions who were at risk of work loss due to their health. This study could lead the way for therapists to intervene to prevent work disability for a population that is at high risk of work loss.

ENACT pre-doctoral fellow Aileen Ledingham, PT, MS will also be presenting her poster “Adults with Knee Osteoarthritis: Perspectives on Telephone Technology to Support Adherence to Exercise”, an ancillary qualitative study to ENACT’s BOOST trial. With her study, Ms. Ledingham explores the BOOST participant’s thoughts and perspectives on the technology used in the BOOST adherence study. Ms. Ledingham’s work may lead to novel ways to promote adherence to physical therapy programs.

American College of Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals, November 11-16, 2016, Washington, DC

ENACT investigators also brought the results of both randomized controlled trials to the arthritis research community at the November 2016 ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.

Dr. Keysor presented the main results from the “Work-it” employment outcomes study during a joint ACR/ARHP on November 15th and Kristin Baker, PhD, presented results from the “BOOST” trial on November 16th.

In addition, recent ENACT graduate Molly Vaughan, PhD, DPT, presented her dissertation research to the ACR/ARHP audience. Her work, which analyzed data from the Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study (MOST) to examine, looked at the relationship between positive/negative affect and participation restriction among persons with knee osteoarthritis.

Did you miss these presentations? You can still find abstracts for all three talks here

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Work-It Study “Learn at Work” webinar now available for viewing

October 25th, 2016 in News Feed

ENACT’s recent webinar “The Work-it Study for People with Arthritis: Study Protocol and Baseline Sample Characteristics” is now available (free) on YouTube.

Part of the Learn at Work webinar series, the hour-long presentation gives an overview of the background, methods, and baseline sample characteristics for ENACT’s 2-year longitudinal randomized controlled trial on work disability outcomes for people with arthritis, “Efficacy of a Modified Vocational Rehabilitation Intervention for Work Disability” (more on the trial here).

Director and Principal Investigator for the “Work-It” study Julie Keysor, PhD, PT and Health and Disability Research Institute postdoctoral fellow Rawan AlHeresh, PhD, MS, OT delivered the talk with Karen Jacobs, EdD, CPE, OTR/L, FAOTA, founding editor of WORK:  A journal of Prevention, Assessment, and Rehabilitation, as moderator.

Watch the full presentation, here:

Research Update: ENACT’s 2 Randomized Controlled Trials Have Completed Data Collection

March 9th, 2016 in March 2016 Newsletter, News Feed

We are excited to report that all three research projects supported by our Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) grant through the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) have concluded data collection and final analyses are underway.

Through the diligent work of our center staff, our two RCTs achieved excellent retention, with both above 85% at 2-year follow up. In addition, we achieved high participation of underrepresented minorities (at nearly 30%) in both trials.

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A class member learns the knee extension, one of the core exercises of the BOOST program

Continue below for project-specific updates:
Project 1 “Efficacy of a Modified Vocational Rehabilitation Intervention” (WORK-IT)
Also called “Work-It”, our first of 2 randomized controlled trials investigated if a modified vocational rehabilitation intervention could affect work limitation outcomes among people with arthritis over two years of follow-up compared to people receiving a control intervention. Data collection concluded in December 2015 with the largest sample to date for an arthritis employment retention study! We anticipate disseminating primary results in 2016.

Project 2 “Can computer-based telephone counseling improve long-term adherence to strength training in elders with knee osteoarthritis?” (BOOST)
Our second randomized controlled trial, the “BOOST” study, aimed to compare outcomes for participants with knee OA randomized to either a computer-based telephone counseling (TLC) or control group and determine whether or not TLC enhances adherence to and participation in exercise over 2 years. The study also aimed to determine the association of function and pain at 1 year and 2 years with adherence to the exercise program at the same time points. Data collection concluded in November 2015 and we anticipate disseminating primary results in 2016.

Project 3 “Community and Home Participation after Total Knee Replacement”
ENACT’s third study, with both observational and qualitative arms, has concluded both data collection and analysis and results are being disseminated. This observational study aimed to explore home and community participation among persons with a total knee replacements at least 2 years to determine the risk factors associated with limited participation using the data from the Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study (MOST). The study also had a qualitative arm, which aimed to gain insight into people’s perceptions of factors that influence participation among people experiencing difficulties following a total knee replacement procedure. Two manuscripts are pending. PI Dr. Jessica Maxwell recently presented results from the qualitative arm of this study at the American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting (APTA-CSM).

Look for upcoming manuscripts from ENACT and for presentations on these results and more at upcoming professional conferences in 2016!

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Spotlight: Dr. Kristin Baker, Principle Investigator for the BOOST Study

March 9th, 2016 in March 2016 Newsletter, News Feed

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Dr. Kristin Baker (right) with Associate Directer Saralynn Allaire staff the Arthritis Foundation Expo’s “Expert’s Corner”

ENACT’s spotlight for the March 2016 Newsletter features Dr. Kristin Baker, Principal Investigator for ENACT’s BOOST study. Dr. Baker’s background is in exercise physiology and nutritional science and her primary research interest lies in improving functional quality of life for people living with arthritis.

In her current position as a Research Assistant Professor in the Physical Therapy Department of Boston University’s Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Dr. Baker is leading ENACT’s BOOST trial, a five-year project investigating how best to support people with arthritis to adhere to physical activity using existing technologies and behavioral science theory.

In the BOOST study, ENACT recruited 104 people with knee osteoarthritis to participate in a group strength-training program with 3 primary focuses: body alignment and mechanics, achieving the proper exercise intensity to improve muscle strength, and learning to progress through the exercises for continued improvement in muscle strength over time. After the group strength training program, participants were randomized to receive one of 2 follow-up interventions, a non-interactive automated message to remind participants to exercise or an automated interactive telephone system providing coaching and counseling information to promote continued exercise.

Though the benefits of physical activity to improve arthritis pain and function have been established and are widely accepted, adherence to exercise programs remains low among people with arthritis. According to Dr. Baker, if a telephone-based supportive technology proves to be effective for people with arthritis, it could be a cost-effective way to reach a wide range of people with rheumatic conditions, even potentially, “improving quality of life, and maybe prolonging the time before they need a knee replacement or reducing the number of doctor visits for medication.” In the long term, says Dr. Baker, it could have implications for the practice of physical rehabilitation by enabling patients to better adhere to therapeutic physical activity recommendations.

As technology continues to advance, the field of rehabilitation is recognizing and acting on the potential for technology to serve as a resource that may be modifiable for use in different populations, including those with rheumatic conditions.   Dr. Baker’s ultimate goal would be to widely disseminate the technology used in the BOOST study, thus adding another resource to the technology toolbox for rehabilitation practitioners and researchers.

Data collection for this study was completed in late 2015 and the efficacy of the interactive telephone system is now being assessed. In addition, research assistant and ENACT doctoral fellow Aileen Ledingham received an ancillary grant to assess participant satisfaction with the system. Look for results to be released in Spring 2016!

To read more from Dr. Baker on the use of technology in rehabilitation, access the ENACT Presentation page here

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