Welcome back to our series that highlights NIDILRR’s Outcome Domains and Support Areas. This month, we will be looking at NIDILRR’s Capacity Building for Rehabilitation Research and Training. Through this research program, NIDILRR seeks to support advanced instruction for researchers and service providers and training for consumers in the application of new research and technology. This involves training researchers across disciplines; training rehabilitation practitioners and service providers to use research-generated knowledge and new techniques; and encouraging and training consumers to participate in research efforts.
For Fiscal Year 2020, over 50 projects are focusing their activities on capacity building and training in areas such as pediatric mobility, employment, community living, inclusive technology, and policy design. Projects in this area include Advanced Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers, which train young scholars over two or more years to design and conduct research and development activities, and Switzer Fellowships, which are one-year grants to individual researchers with PhD or equivalent degrees. These projects include:
- The project Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training in Pediatric Mobility for Physicians, Therapists, and Engineers (90ARHF0006) develops a training program to advance education, experience, and training in pediatric mobility for physicians, therapists, and engineers with the goal to improve rehabilitative and orthopedic care of children with mobility challenges. Training is measured by the fellows’ ability to conduct high quality research, successfully complete the course of didactic and research training, and secure academic and/or clinical positions in rehabilitation research. Contributions from this project’s fellows will include research publications, presentation of evidence-based research at conferences, and an increased number of rehabilitation-trained physicians, therapists, and engineers in the field of pediatric mobility.
- The project Trauma-Informed Care in Centers for Independent Living improves the outcomes for people with disabilities who have experienced trauma by developing a framework for trauma-informed independent living systems and services, using knowledge gained through an in-depth ethnographic study of a Center for Independent Living (CIL). The project uses various models and ethnographic approaches to review and analyze current CIL policies/practices, explore and describe the perspectives of CIL consumers, and explore and describe the experiences and perspectives of CIL staff. This research leads to a set of recommendations for how CILs can adopt principles of trauma-informed care and generates knowledge about how trauma-informed care frameworks in other systems can be more disability aware, accessible, and inclusive.
The projects within the area of Capacity Building for Rehabilitation Research and Training produce peer-reviewed articles, monthly reports, webinars and presentations, blogs, and other publications. Many of these are articles written by emerging scholars and practitioners who, as a part of their training, must design and conduct research projects and then present and publish on their research. Publications from these projects are indexed in the NARIC collection, including:
- The article, History of mayor depression as a barrier to health behavior changes after a chronic disease diagnosis, from the Northwestern University Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training (ARRT) Program, discusses a study on whether the changes in smoking, drinking, and physical activity after a chronic disease diagnosis differ between middle-aged and older adults with and without a history of major depression. The results indicated that baseline major depression was associated with a more than 3-fold increase in the odds of smoking and 37% decrease in the odds of staying physical active, but not with odds of excessive drinking. The finding suggest that a chronic disease diagnosis may be an important teachable moment for health behavior change, but the behavior changing effect may be smaller for those with a history of major depression especially when it comes to smoking.
- The postdoctoral engineers/scientists being trained at the Rehabilitation Sciences for Engineers and Basic Scientists: An Advanced Training Program wrote an article, Using mechanical testing to assess the effect of lower-limb prosthetic socket texturing on longitudinal suspension, which discussed a study that investigated the longitudinal displacement of lower-limb prosthetic socket with different types of textures under two suspension conditions. Using newly developed mechanical testing protocols, they demonstrated that texturing of certain sockets fabricated using a 3-D printer significantly decreased the longitudinal displacements in comparison to a smooth socket. The researchers found that none of the novel textured sockets significantly reduced longitudinal displacement in comparison to the original socket under the passive suction suspension.
- The article, Disability segregation in volunteer work, from the project Disability, Volunteering, and Employment over the Life Course, discusses a study that evaluated disability segregation in volunteer work across different types of organizations and activities. The findings revealed that aside from sociodemographic characteristics, volunteers with disabilities have lower odds than volunteers without disabilities of participating in educational/youth organizations and sports/hobby/cultural organizations, and higher odds of participating in social/community organizations. The study also found that volunteers with disabilities have lower odds of participating in professional or coaching/teaching/mentoring activities and higher odds of participating in distribution activities, which suggest less access to leadership roles and opportunities for skill development.
If you would like to learn more about NIDILRR’s Outcome Domains and Support Areas, other projects or products within the Outcome Domain and Support Area of Capacity Building for Rehabilitation Research and Training, or would like more information about capacity building, please contact NARIC’s information specialists.