Category: News Feed

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.

Presenting “Fact or Fiction?”: A 2-part Series Addressing Myths about Arthritis

June 10th, 2014 in "Active Living with Arthritis" Podcasts, News Feed



For a long time, the common advice for people with arthritis was to avoid physical activity.  We now know that exercising improves both arthritis pain and the ability to participate in daily activities. So, what else do we know? Listen in as Karen, Amber, and Kaitlin confirm or bust other arthritis myths!


Fact or Fiction_Qmark_white

Click here to listen to “Fact or Fiction Part 1: The Seriousness of Osteoarthritis, Braces, Diet and Weather” (10:30)

Click here to listen to “Fact or Fiction Part 2: Magnetic Bracelets, Glucosamine, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Arthroscopic Surgery, and Ice vs. Heat” (8:46)

or listen through ITunes!

Prefer printed resources?  Large Print summaries and full transcripts are available below:
Fact or Fiction 1: Key Points and References and Fact or Fiction 1: Print Version
Fact or Fiction 2: Key Points and References and Fact or fiction 2: Print Version

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Thank you for listening!

ENACT to Present at Upcoming AOTA and NARRTC Meetings in April

March 25th, 2014 in Events, News Feed

With recruitment for ENACT’s 3 research projects completed, expect to hear more from ENACT in the coming months at professional rehabilitation meetings around the country!

In addition to ENACT’s own Arthritis State of the Science Meeting on April 7th, 2014 in Pentagon City, ENACT will present work to attendees at the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) in Baltimore, MD and to the National Association of Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers (NARRTC) in Washington, DC.

April 3rd will find Rawan AlHeresh, MS, OT, in Baltimore presenting 2 abstracts “Work Participation among Persons with Arthritis: Baseline Characteristics from a Rehabilitation Clinical Trial” and “Work It”: Recruitment Lessons Learned from a Rehabilitation-Based Arthritis Randomized Trial” at the AOTA Annual Meeting in Baltimore.

Director Julie Keysor, PT, PhD, and Kristin Baker, PhD, PI for the BOOST study, will each present during the NARRTC Meeting in Washington, DC on April 23-24, 2014.  Together, they will present the symposia “Enhancing Activity and Participation among Persons with Arthritis: Updates from the Field”.  Dr. Baker will later present on the BOOST study in her talk “Arthritis and Exercise: Using Innovated Technology to Improve Strength Training Exercise Adherence”.

Later this summer, doctoral Fellow Aileen Ledingham, MS, PT, will present work from the BOOST study at June’s American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Annual Meeting in Charlotte, NC.

We will see you there!

ENACT Completes Recruitment for Largest Arthritis Work Disability Trial to Date

March 25th, 2014 in News Feed

The Center for Enhancing Activity and Participation Among Persons with Arthritis (ENACT) is pleased to report that we have closed recruitment for the ” ‘Work-It’ Study: Efficacy of a Modified Vocational Rehabilitation Intervention“.  Principal Investigator and Center Director Julie Keysor leads this trial investigating the effect of a modified vocational rehabilitation intervention on subsequent work limitation.  With completion of the recruitment phase, the Work-It study becomes the largest arthritis work disability trial to date.

Keep your eye out for ENACT to begin presenting data from the Work-It study at professional meetings around the country in the coming months, starting with the American Occupational Therapy Association Annual Meeting in Baltimore, MD, April 3-6th 2014.

Registration Closes March 28th for the Arthritis State of the Science Conference

February 26th, 2014 in Events, News Feed, Winter 2014 Newsletter


The time to register for the Arthritis State of the Science Meeting Promoting Activity and Participation among Persons with Arthritis is now!  The deadline to register March 28th.

Join us for this one-day conference at the Ritz Carlton in Pentagon City, VA on April 7th, 2014. Evidence-based approaches to address promoting activity and participation among persons with arthritis across rehabilitation, community and employment settings will be discussed.  Our speaker panel includes experts from advocacy organizations, federal government, clinical professional organizations, as well as leading scholars.  The dialogue created by bringing together these experts will serve the ultimate goal of moving the arthritis activity and participation research and policy agenda forward.

On the afternoon of April 6th, ENACT will hold its New Investigator Workshop on Advancing Arthritis Research to foster growth in the area of rheumatological rehabilitation research.  We had an enthusiastic response to our call for applications and are very pleased to have accepted 20 outstanding new investigators. Applicants represent distinguished international academic and clinical institutions in the field of arthritis research.

The Workshop aims to enhance the capability of new investigators to employ innovative and novel research methods to address critical clinical research questions. The Workshop will include opportunities for individual mentoring, as well as presentations on using large data sets and selecting optimal outcome measures.

Register now for the meeting!  We hope you will join us for this exciting opportunity for interdisciplinary discourse.


Story by Ammarah Usmani