Category: News Feed

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

About Us Banner

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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Explore ENACT’s Newly Redesigned Website

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

ENACT’s site may look different, but the URL is the same!

The newly updated site features a cleaner design and updated look, simplified navigation to promote access to under-utilized areas of the site, and both updated and new content areas. It is now optimized for mobile platforms and features increased font size throughout the site for enhanced readability. We’ve expanded content areas on exercise and employment and created new content on the impact of community environment on participation, our work with the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill on neighborhood walkability, and total knee replacement (TKR).

Please take a look around around our new site! Click here to redirect to the homepage

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ENACT Doctoral Fellows featured in “Health Matters – A Virtual Conference”

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

Boston University’s Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences held its first all-day, virtual health conference in September 2015. Health Matters – a Virtual Conference focused on innovative research and clinical approaches in health and rehabilitation.

Rawan, Aileen, Molly, and Julie prepare for filming

Rawan, Aileen, Molly, and Julie (from left) prepare for filming

The agenda featured a discussion between ENACT’s 3 doctoral fellows and Director Julie Keysor, PhD, PT regarding the work and experience of students in the rehabilitation sciences doctoral program. Other topics including communication neuroscience, human movement, traumatic brain injury, intensive language intervention, child development, and more represented the range of Sargent College research, educational, and practice activities.

Missed the conference? A full archived version of all presentations can be found here

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ENACT Fellow Rawan Alheresh, PhD, OT Completes Doctoral Training Program

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

ALHERESH - Our Team

Rawan AlHeresh, PHD, OT

A huge congratulations to our former ENACT doctoral fellow, Rawan AlHeresh, PhD, OT on successfully defending her dissertation and completing her course of study with the Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences-Doctor of Rehabilitation Sciences Program at Boston University.

Dr. AlHeresh entered ENACT’s training program in July 2011 with a background in occupational therapy and experience as a full-time lecturer at the University of Jordan. There she also worked in Palestinian Refugee camps as part of a United Nations (UN) and World Health Organization (WHO) backed Community-based Rehabilitation program, where she developed an interest in participation outcomes among people with disabilities. The experience motivated her to pursue doctoral training in rehabilitation which she hopes to apply to improving health services, education, prevention and research in Jordan’s rehabilitation services and in the Middle East region. At ENACT, her research focused on outcome measurement in different participation areas for people with arthritis, specifically the workplace.

Upon completion of her degree requirements, Dr. AlHeresh was accepted as a post-doctoral fellow at Boston University’s Health and Disability Research Institute (HDRI). HDRI conducts collaborative, interdisciplinary research in the field of disability and rehabilitation research, making it a perfect fit for Dr. AlHeresh’s interests. Dr. AlHeresh is also working as a visiting scientist in the occupational therapy department at Tufts University.

We look forward to watching Dr. AlHeresh’s contributions to the field over the coming years. Congratulations Rawan!

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ENACT Investigator Jessica Maxwell to Present at 2016 APTA-CSM Meeting

February 18th, 2016 in Events, News Feed

Jessica Maxwell, PhD, DPT, will be at the American Physical Therapy Association – Combined Sections Meeting in Anaheim, California this week.

Dr. Maxwell will present results from her recent NIDILRR-funded qualitative study on Thursday, February 18th from 1-3.  Look for her poster, titled “Fear of the Unknown: Factors Effecting Participation Restrictions following Knee Replacement.”

Center Director Julie Keysor Presents at New England College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

December 2nd, 2015 in News Feed

Look for ENACT Director Julie Keysor, PhD, PT at the New England College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine Annual Meeting on December 3-4th, 2015 in Newton, MA.

Dr. Keysor will participate in the December 3rd panel Early Workplace and Psychosocial Risk Factors for Prolonged Work Disability for Patients with Low Back Pain- Can I Identify and Solve them in my Clinical Practice?“. Fellow panelists include Michael Erdil, MD, FACOEM, OEHN UCHC and William Shaw, PhD from Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety; Donald R. Murphy, DC from RI Spine Center; and Jon Torres, MD from St Mary’s Occupational Health Clinic. Glenn Pransky, MD, MOccH, FACOEM, from Liberty Mutual will moderate the panel.

ENACT Presents at Annual American College of Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ACR/ARHP) Meeting

November 11th, 2015 in News Feed

We hope you enjoyed an information-packed meeting in San Francisco!

ENACT Director Julie Keysor participated in two invited sessions at this year’s American College of Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ACR/ARHP) Meeting.

On Monday, November 9th, Dr. Keysor presented the session “Return to work and Work Entry: What we know from research and practice” as part of the 3-part symposia “Getting Patients Back to Work: Resources for Clinicians”.

On Wednesday, November 11th, Dr. Keysor and leaders of the Osteoarthritis Action Alliance (OAAA) presented a symposia on the important work of this professional coalition, focused on bringing osteoarthritis forward as a national health priority.  Her presentation was titled “OAAA Resources and Efforts to Impact OA Awareness, Education and Management”.

Keep an eye on ENACT’s Presentations page for full presentations slides, coming soon.

ENACT Alumna Rawan AlHeresh, PhD, MS, OT, Joins Boston University’s Health and Disability Research Institute

October 6th, 2015 in News Feed

Congratulations to former ENACT fellow Rawan AlHeresh, PhD, MS, OT, who has accepted a post-doctoral position with Boston University’s Health and Disability Research Institute (HDRI).

Located within BU’s School of Public Health, HDRI conducts collaborative, interdisciplinary research in the field of disability and rehabilitation research.  As a leader in advancing the science of measurement, this group is a great fit for Dr. AlHeresh’s interests.  We look forward to observing her accomplishments over the coming years!

ENACT To Be Part of Boston University’s Free Virtual Conference HEALTH MATTERS on September 17th, 2015

September 11th, 2015 in Events, News Feed

Boston University’s Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences will hold Health Matters – a Virtual Conference on September 17th, 2015 from 9 am – 5 pm EST.  The conference focuses on innovative research and clinical approaches in health and rehabilitation. Registration is required, but the event is free.

Speakers represent Sargent College faculty’s range of health and rehabilitation professions, with an agenda that covers topics like communication neuroscience, human movement, traumatic brain injury, intensive language intervention, child development, and more.  A feature of the work and experience of ENACT’s doctoral fellows in the rehabilitation sciences doctoral program is scheduled for the 4:00 pm hour, just preceding ENACT collaborator Dr. Alan Jette‘s closing statement. See the full agenda here

To learn more about the conference or to register, click here

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