By Elizabeth Simpson

Doctoral Fellow Rawan AlHeresh to be published in IJRR

January 14th, 2015 in Uncategorized

ENACT doctoral fellow Rawan AlHeresh, MS OTR, will be published in the International Journal of Rehabilitation Research.  Keep an eye out for her article, “The Work Activity and Participation Outcomes Framework: A New Look at Work Disability Outcomes through the Lens of the ICF”, later in 2015.

Please join us in congratulating Rawan on her achievement!

A Look Back: Images from 2014

December 18th, 2014 in News Feed, Photo Album

ENACT Featured in Recent Edition of Inside Sargent Magazine

December 2nd, 2014 in News Feed

IS banner 2014

ENACT’s research program was the focus of a recent feature in the Boston University Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Science Inside Sargent Magazine, released each year.

The story provides a comprehensive review of ENACT’s ambitous research agenda, which consists of two randomized trials with long-term follow-up and a third qualitative study conducted over the course of 5 years.  This research is unique in the field of rehabilitation research, looking beyond pain and mobility limitations to investigate ways to support the participation of individuals with rheumatic conditions throughout various aspects of their everyday lives such as physical activity, leisure, and employment.

Read the story in full on Sargent College’s website here, or keep an eye out for the Inside Sargent magazine at upcoming ENACT and Sargent College community events.


Catch ENACT’s Sympsosia on Technology and Exercise Adherence at ACR/ARHP 2014

November 10th, 2014 in Events, News Feed

Join ENACT researchers for their invited symposia at the upcoming 2014 Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ARHP) Annual Meeting in Boston, MA.

Session title: “Exercise Adherence in Arthritis: The Role of Technology
Time: Wednesday, November 19th from 900-10:30
Director Julie Keysor, PhD, PT,
Project 2 PI Kristin Baker, PhD, and
Doctoral fellow Molly Vaughan, DPT

Though research supports non-invasive interventions for arthritis, such as exercise and job accommodations, community level adoption of these programs remains very limited.  This 3-part symposia will cover the ways in which technology can enhance physical activity adherence and applications in the community environment.

We hope to see you there!

An Invitation from ENACT Director Julie Keysor

October 2nd, 2014 in Fall 2014 Newsletter, News Feed

I am pleased to announce the release of the proceedings from our exciting 2014 Arthritis State of the Science Meeting and invite my colleagues to review them.  In the newsletter edition devoted to the proceedings,  you’ll find a summary of presentations given by leading scholars  in the field,  the dynamic discussion that emerged, and  a map of resources on ENACT’s website that were created to reflect new directions that will move the field forward.

On April 7th, 2014, the rheumatological rehabilitation community came together in Pentagon City for the Arthritis State of the Science meeting titled “Promoting Activity and Participation among Persons with Arthritis.”  The meeting opened with two presentations that placed arthritis in important contexts: rehabilitation and public health.  Full videos and transcripts of those talks by myself and Dr. Teresa Brady of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are available on the website.  Subsequent presentations offered uniquely interdisciplinary perspectives from international experts in the field, and focused on the state of the science today and into the future in the areas of community living, rehabilitation, and employment retention.  The presentation slides for these talks are also available for viewing on the ENACT website.

Another successful element of the State of the Science meeting was the New Investigator Workshop on Advancing Arthritis Research held on April 6th.  Experts in the field met with 24 new investigators who are outstanding scholars ready to advance the field in new and novel ways.   The six presentations delivered during the Workshop have been archived and are available as a free resource through the ENACT website.

It is exciting to reflect on all that we have accomplished  as we prepare to enter the 5th and culminating year of this inaugural cycle of our NIDRR Arthritis RRTC.   We hope you enjoy this newsletter and make use of the resources on the ENACT website.

Stay active and be well!
Julie Keysor, PhD, PT, ENACT Center Director

Arthritis SOS Meeting: Session 1 – Rehabilitation and Arthritis

October 2nd, 2014 in Fall 2014 Newsletter, News Feed

Murphy speaking-crop

What role can rehabilitation play in promoting physical activity and full participation among people with arthritis?  The first of three sessions at the Arthritis State of the Science Meeting tackled this timely question.  The first presentation paired prominent rehabilitation researchers from the fields of physical therapy and occupational therapy to review practice innovations.  The second presentation examined participation outcomes related to a total knee replacement, a procedure that is becoming increasingly common. Skip to full summary here

Dr. G. Kelley Fitzgerald of the Physical Therapy Clinical and Translational Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh and Dr. Susan Murphy (above) of the Institute of Gerontology at the University of Michigan led this interdisciplinary presentation focused on current approaches to therapy for people with rheumatological conditions.  Dr. Murphy noted that referral to occupational therapy is rare despite evidence linking non-pharmacological strategies like assistive device use to successful outcomes.  Furthermore, evidence citing the need to treat non-biomedical components of arthritis disease experience indicates a clear role for rehabilitation professionals.

Dr. Fitzgerald continued in this vein, citing areas where physical therapists can make an impact, including proper strength training procedures, biomechanical approaches such as task-specific training, and the potential for benefit effects from manual therapy.

Dr. Jessica Maxwell, principal investigator of ENACT’s Project 3, presented a review of her novel work examining social participation outcomes after total knee replacement.  Though total knee replacement is becoming an increasingly more common procedure in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis, data from the Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study (MOST) indicates that participation restriction, pain, and functional limitations continue for many after surgery.  Further examination of total knee replacement post-surgical participation outcomes is needed.

To access the full State of the Science meeting proceedings, click here.  The slides for the presentations described above are available in full on the ENACT website.

Arthritis SOS Meeting: Session 2 – Arthritis in the Community

October 2nd, 2014 in Fall 2014 Newsletter, News Feed

How is activity being promoted at the community level for people with arthritis?  This was the central question in the second session of the Arthritis State of the Science meeting. The three presenters in this session are involved inRimmer speakingcommunity-level arthritis interventions or program development and discussed their work in three focal points of research in the field: community programming, use of technology, and environmental influences.Skip to full summary here

Dr. Susan Hughes, DSW, of the University of Illinois at Chicago began the session by discussing the successful Fit & Strong program, a multi-component community-based intervention developed at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Fit & Strong is designed to address both physical activity and behavior change and has demonstrated efficacy for improving joint pain and increasing physical activity.

Dr. Kristin Baker of ENACT at Boston University discussed how her work with the BOOST study adds to the growing body of evidence indicating that technology has the potential to impact physical activity-related behavior change and to enhance adherence to these changes. 

Dr. James Rimmer (above) of the Lakeshore Foundation and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, closed out the session by discussing approaches to promoting physical activity among disabled adults that take into account environmental facilitators and barriers.  Using the SELECT model, Dr. Rimmer led participants through the complex ways in which the environment can affect participation levels and physical activity adherence.

To access the full State of the Science meeting proceedings, click here.  The slides for all three presentations described above are available in full on the ENACT website.

Arthritis SOS Meeting: Session 3 – Arthritis & Employment

October 2nd, 2014 in Fall 2014 Newsletter, News Feed

Baker and Jacobs speaking

What impact does arthritis have on the ability to remain employed?  This question was explored during the final session of the State of the Science Meeting.   In the first presentation, two experts in employment-related ergonomics reviewed the potential uses of telehealth in rheumatological rehabilitation.  The second presentation discussed the benefits of a community approach to sustaining employment.  Finally, the third speaker presented the employer perspective.  Skip to full summary here

Dr. Karen Jacobs of Boston University’s Sargent College and Dr. Nancy Baker from the University of Pittsburgh (above) discussed the uses of telehealth in rheumatological rehabilitation and its potential for growth in the field.  Citing current uses in occupational therapy as examples, Drs. Jacobs and Baker delved into methods, models, and approaches used in telehealth that can provide benefit across the spectrum of clinical care, from service delivery to provision of care.

ENACT Director Dr. Julie Keysor continued this theme by reviewing progress made in the area of community interventions to sustain employment among persons with arthritis.  As opposed to relying on the workplace or primary health care providers, the delivery of employment interventions within the community can provide a platform for successful job accommodation solutions.  To illustrate this point, Dr. Keysor noted examples of successful arthritis interventions within the field of vocational rehabilitation.

Dr. Glenn Pransky of the Center for Disability Research at the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety closed out this final session by representing the perspective of employers on sustaining employees in their professional roles.  First emphasizing that clinical severity is not necessarily the most important predictor of work disability, he summarized risk factors for people with arthritis, current condition-specific interventions, and some successful strategies for promoting the ability of employees to continue working.

To access the full State of the Science meeting proceedings, click here.  The slides for the presentations described above are available in full on the ENACT website.

New Investigator Webinar Series Now Available

October 2nd, 2014 in Fall 2014 Newsletter, News Feed

April’s Arthritis State of the Science Meeting was preceded by the New Investigator Workshop on Advancing Arthritis Research, featuring leading scholars and researchers from pre-eminent rheumatological and rehabilitation research institutions.  The Workshop’s 6 presentations are now available as a free resource for rehabilitation researchers through the ENACT website.

The workshop agenda was developed with the goal of enhancing the capability of new investigators to employ innovative and novel research methods to address critical clinical research questions.  Topics include the selection of optimal outcome measures, use of comparative effectiveness research design, the research opportunities available using large, available data sets, and more.

Workshop mentors include Drs. Nancy Baker, Paolo Bonato, David Felson, Alan Jette, Julie Keysor, Nancy Latham, and Michael LaValley.  A full list of presentations is available below:

National Arthritis Datasets: Opportunities for Research Using Publically Available Data (29:01)
David Felson, MD, MPH, Boston University Clinical Epidemiology

Performance-Based Outcome Measures (31:15)
Nancy Latham, PT, PhD, Boston University Health and Disability Research Institute

Measuring Activity and Participation Outcomes: Patient-Reported Outcomes (28:04)
Alan Jette, PT, PhD, Boston University Health and Disability Research Institute

State-of-the-Art Instrumented Outcome Measurements (29:22)
Paolo Bonato, PhD, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Motion Analysis Laboratory

Comparative Effectiveness Research: A New Study Design for Clinical Practice (29:43)
Nancy Baker, ScD, MPH, OTR/L, University of Pittsburgh

Power and P-Value : Biostatisticians’ Priority P’s (15:55)
Michael LaValley, PhD, Boston University Department of Biostatistics

Each presentation is about 30 minutes in length and is available free through the ENACT website.  Presentations can be viewed individually or as a coordinated learning module.  Please follow this link to access the presentations.


This webinar series is supported by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) Award# H133B100003, The National Institute of Arthritis and Muskuloskeletal and Skin Disease (NIAMS) R13 AR065904-01, and the Boston Rehabilitation Outcomes Center (Boston ROC) Grant # 5R24HD065688-04 which is funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development as part of the Medical Rehabilitation Infrastructure Network.

ENACT to be Part of Bethel AME’s Health Fair on Saturday, September 27th

September 25th, 2014 in Uncategorized

ENACT will present information on medical management of arthritis and strategies to address pain and fatigue when participating in everyday activities as part of the Community Health and Wellness Expo presented by Bethel AME Allied Health Ministry.

Join us this Saturday, September 27th, for Dr. Julie Keysor‘s 10:30 talk on medical management in arthritis, being active, and managing pain, and occupational therapist and Sargent College professor Nancy Lowenstein‘s 11:30 talk on managing fatigue on a daily basis.  Cheryl McDermott of the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center will conduct an arthritis-appropriate exercise session at 1:00 pm.  Resources on arthritis management will be available at the ENACT table in the Fellowship Hall from 9:00-2:00.

More information about the Health and Wellness Expo is available here  We hope you see you there!