SCI Awareness Month Proclamation and Presentation Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day Wednesday,
Dr. David Rosenblum, co-principal investigator of the New England Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center (NERSCIC) Model System, along with colleagues at Gaylord Specialty Healthcare, a partner in the New England Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center, emerged the victor in an online charitable giving contest. This allows Gaylord to purchase a bionic exoskeleton system from Ekso Bionics. The system is designed to help people with paraplegia due to spinal cord injury or neurological disease stand up and walk. Only 18 health care systems in the United States currently have the Ekso, including five designated as Model Systems of care: Craig Hospital, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Spaulding Rehabilitation, Shepherd Center, and Kessler Foundation. Gaylord expects to be using the Ekso bionic system with patients by early 2013, after staff education and training have occurred.
NERSCIC PI and Boston ROC Co-Director Alan Jette PT, PhD will present the Keynote Lecture at the Howard H. Steel Conference for Pediatric Spinal Cord Injuries & Dysfunction. The Stephen M. Haley Memorial Lecture will focus on Advances in Functional Outcome Assessment.
NERSCIC Principal Investigator and Boston ROC Co-Director Alan Jette, PhD, PT, and PRO Core Director Wendy Coster, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, along with colleagues David Tulsky, PhD, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI and Vanessa Noonan, PT, PhD, Rick Hansen Institute, Vancouver, BC, CA held a symposium at this years ACRM annual conference in Vancouver, entitled “Development and Initial Evaluation of the SCI-CAT Functional Assessment Instrument.”
This symposium presented the latest findings of a new functional measure for adults with spinal cord injury, called the Spinal Cord Injury Computer Adaptive Test (SCI-CAT). There is growing recognition that limitations of current SCI outcome measures pose a serious impediment to conducting SCI research and monitoring clinical programs. The SCI-CAT is a state-of-the-art functional measure for adults with spinal cord injury, supported by the NIDRR National Model Systems Program for Spinal Cord Injury. Presenters discussed computer adaptive testing (CAT) methods, reviewed the development of the SCI-CAT measure, presented findings on the SCI-CAT’s psychometric properties, and over-viewed ongoing efforts to link the SCI-CAT with a pediatric SCI functional assessment measure to enable the assessment of functional abilities across the lifespan. These innovative measures can be used to advance spinal cord injury research and clinical practice.
To read more about the development of the SCI-CAT instrument, two new papers were published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation on the item bank development and initial evaluation.
Mary Slavin, PT, PhD, NERSCIC researcher and part of the Boston ROC PRO Core, co-presented a pre-conference workshop entitled “Validation of New Measures of Patient Reported Outcomes for Rehabilitation Medicine” at the ACRM annual meeting this fall. The target audience for the workshop was clinicians and researchers interested in neurologic rehabilitation. Co-presenters include David Tulsky, PhD, Professor and Director of Research in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Michigan and Director of the Center for Rehabilitation Outcomes and Assessment Research; Stephanie A. Kolakowsky-Hayner, PhD, CBIST, Director of Rehabilitation Research at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC) in San Jose, CA and the Project Co-Director of the U.S. Department of Education; and Claire Kalpakjian, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the University of Michigan.