By Elizabeth Simpson

Webinar Save the Date! Results of Two Clinical Trials to Help People with Arthritis Continue to Work and Exercise

September 6th, 2017 in News Feed, Summer 2017 Newsletter

WHEN: September 21st 11:30 am – 1:00 pm EST

Save the date for this free webinar, in which ENACT investigators and an expert panel will discuss results of two ENACT clinical trials: the “Work It” employment study and the BOOST exercise study.

The “Work It” study examined the impact of a novel arthritis work retention intervention. Results demonstrated that the intervention was effective for preventing job loss over time. Presenters will review the trial results, pose discussion points, and discuss challenges for moving the intervention into implementation.

The BOOST exercise study tested the effect of a telephone-based intervention to promote adherence to exercise in a sample of adults with osteoarthritis. Results will be presented and discussion will focus on challenges and opportunities for developing technologies to affect behavioral change.

Presenters
Julie Keysor, PhD, PT, ENACT Center Director and Associate Professor at College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College, Boston University
Rawan AlHeresh, PhD, OTR/L, Assistant Professor, Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions

Expert Panel
Saralynn Allaire, ScD, ENACT Center Associate Director, College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College, Boston University
Kelley Fitzgerald, PT, PhD, Director of the Physical Therapy Clinical and Translational Research Center, University of Pittsburgh
Belinda Borrelli, PhD, Director of Behavioral Science Research, Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, Boston University

We invite Boston area colleagues to join us for the live presentation followed by a reception on Boston University’s Medical campus Talbot building. Space is limited, so please register below if you plan to attend in-person

The webinar and in-person presentation are free!

Please register here

Work It Study Clinical Trial Findings Accepted to Arthritis Care & Research Journal

September 6th, 2017 in News Feed, Summer 2017 Newsletter

We are pleased to announce that a manuscript describing results from ENACT’s work retention study, Efficacy of a Modified Vocational Rehabilitation Intervention for Work Disability (the “Work It” study), was recently accepted for publication in the journal Arthritis Care & Research.

The Work It Study evaluated whether a job barrier identification and solution generation process delivered by trained occupational and physical therapists minimized work disability among at-risk people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal conditions. Epidemiological research suggests that approximately 33% of people with chronic rheumatological and musculoskeletal conditions are unemployed within 10 years of diagnosis, thus this question is of extreme importance for people with these conditions.

The “Work It” study found a significantly lower rate of job loss for the group that received the therapist-delivered intervention, compared to the group that received the control condition (printed materials on job retention). Given the high rate of job loss among persons with arthritis, the practical impact of such an intervention on job retention could be substantial.

Aileen Ledingham, PT, MS, PhD Completes the Doctoral Program

September 6th, 2017 in News Feed, Summer 2017 Newsletter

Congratulations to Aileen Ledingham, PT, MS, PhD who became the third doctoral fellow to complete ENACT’s training program curriculum and be awarded her doctorate in Rehabilitation Sciences.

Dr. Ledingham began her doctoral studies after years of clinical experience in physical therapy working with patients across the age spectrum. Her experience as a practitioner and practice manager both domestically and internationally gives her a unique perspective within the field of rheumatological rehabilitation.

Her dissertation, titled “Promoting Exercise Adherence among Adults with Knee Osteoarthritis: A New Look”, consisted of two studies nested in the BOOST clinical trial on exercise adherence among people with knee osteoarthritis. One study looked at fear of movement and the second explored subjects’ perspectives on performance of strength training exercises, use of telephone technology, and adherence to exercise. She hopes that her findings will lead to new information for practicing clinicians to support their patients with knee osteoarthritis to adhere to exercise habits.

We look forward to Dr. Ledingham’s contributions to the field in years to come. Congratulations Aileen!

Julie Keysor Co-Directs New Mobile Health Affinity Research Collaboration at Boston University

September 6th, 2017 in News Feed, Summer 2017 Newsletter

ENACT Director Julie Keysor, PhD, PT, will serve as co-director for the recently funded Mobile and Electronic Health Affinity Research Collaborative. This inter-disciplinary collaboration seeks to conduct state-of-the art research and training in mobile health (mHealth) and electronic health (eHealth) to improve the health of underserved populations across the lifespan.

Funded by the Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research, this Affinity Research Collaborative (ARC) project brings together researchers from colleges across Boston University – including ARC co-directors Assistant Professor Lisa Quintiliani, PhD at the School of Medicine, Professor Belinda Borrelli, PhD at the School of Dental Medicine, and colleagues with the Software and Application Innovation Lab (SAIL) at the Hariri Institute for Computing at the College of Engineering—to advance mHealth and eHealth initiatives.

Dr. Keysor is also Principal Investigator for one of three pilot projects collecting data to build effective mHealth and eHealth applications. Dr. Keysor’s project, “Development of a Novel e-Health App for Knee OA Exercise Adherence”, will explore user preferences regarding features of a mobile application to support adherence to physical activity programs among people with OA. Based on what is learned from this pilot project, investigators will develop a prototype and intervention program followed by user testing.

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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