Research

The overall goal of the Spaulding New England Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center (SNERSCIC) is to provide a multidisciplinary comprehensive system of care for individuals with SCI as a basis for conducting research that extends the existing evidence base for SCI rehabilitation. Our focus is health, function and technology, especially for the most vulnerable, to empower individuals with SCI to lead fulfilling and meaningful lives.

Participate In A Study

Why Participate?

To contribute to research that is focused on improving the day-to-day life in ways that matter for people with SCI. We have all different kinds of studies, and many SNERSCIC studies have an interview format. Interviews can be performed in person or by telephone. We are also happy to make other accommodations as needed.

See Currently Recruiting for studies you can participate in right now. To learn more about participating in SNERSCIC studies:

Dave Estrada
SNERSCIC Program Manager
857-225-2472
destrada@partners.org

The following SNERSCIC studies funded by our SCI Model System grant are currently looking for participants:

National Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems Outcomes Database Study (the Outcomes Study)

See Details of Study

Equity and Quality in Assistive Technology (EQuATe) 2.0 for Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury

See Details of Study

The following researchers affiliated with SNERSCIC are recruiting for these additional SCI-related studies:

INSPIRE Lab – Technology to Promote Functional Independence

See Details of Study

Hybrid-FES Exercise to Prevent Cardiovascular Declines in Acute SCI

See Details of Study

As a Spinal Cord Injury Model System Center, SNERSCIC conducts research and contributes data to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center. SNERSCIC conducts center-specific research (at its own center), and also conducts multi-center or module studies with other SCIMS Centers. SNERSCIC studies in 2016-2021 include:

SNERSCIC contributes data to the National Spinal Cord Injury Database, which includes more than 32,000 individuals with SCI. Information is gathered from individuals, with their consent, during hospitalization and through follow up at one and five years after injury, and every five years thereafter. Data from the SCIMS National Database provides information about the course of recovery, trends in cause and severity of SCI, health service delivery and costs, treatment, and rehabilitation outcomes. The database is a rich source of data for research and analysis of outcomes.

The SCI-FI instrument was designed specifically for persons with SCI, regardless of level or severity of injury. The content of the SCI-FI is based upon an extensive review of the literature, input from patients with SCI, and clinician focus groups, and is grounded within the International Classification of Function, Disability, and Health (ICF) framework.

With the development of the SCI-FI/AT, we now have available SCI-FI scales that evaluate a person’s ability to function using adaptive technology in the areas of Basic Mobility, Self-Care, Ambulation, Fine Motor, and Wheelchair function. There are 178 total items in the final SCI- FI/AT domain item banks. Short forms are aptly named as a short paper-based version of the full item banks of each functional domain of the SCI-FI/AT, which is currently administered via computer as a computer adaptive test (CAT).

Aim 1 –Create a SCI-FI/AT inpatient short form that can be completed efficiently by clinicians on patients while they are in the inpatient rehabilitation setting. This form can be used as part of the SCI Model Systems (SCIMS) National Database inpatient assessment, and for general use by clinicians and researchers.

Aim 2 – We will conduct a pilot study to evaluate the inter-rater reliability of having clinicians complete the SCI-FI/AT inpatient short forms with a sample of patients in the SNERSCIC SCIMS network.

Lead Principal Investigator: Dr. Mike Boninger, UPitt
These tables are abstracted from the clinical trial registration website at www.clinicaltrials.gov using the search term “Spinal Cord Injury.” The most recent update occurred December 5, 2016, at which time the search found a total of 831 SCI trials. Of these, the status of 271 trials was known. The trials listed in these tables are currently actively recruiting or soon-to-be recruiting subjects.

Aim 1 – Collect descriptive data on Assistive Technology (AT) used by individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) including wheelchair make, model, failures, and repairs. This data will enable us to track the impact of insurance market changes, find differences in wheelchair failures, and present this information to wheelchair users.

Hypothesis:

  1. The prevalence and type of wheelchair failures will vary across manufacturers.
  2. Device satisfaction will be inversely correlated with adverse consequences.
  3. Response in service time for repairs will vary by vendor and service region.
  4. Users will experience additional consequences secondary to waiting for a repair to be completed.
  5. Intensity of wheelchair use will be associated with incidence of repairs.

Aim 2 – Explore the influence of individual characteristics such as financial strain, educational quality, health literacy, geographic location, and self-efficacy on differences in AT quality and other health related outcomes for individuals with SCI.

These are quick, easy-to-understand summaries of research we have done in recent years, without all the research mumbo-jumbo. Enjoy! And please contact us with any questions! You can also find all the SCI Model Systems Research Quick Reviews here.

Randomized Trial of a Telephone Intervention

Randomized Trial of a Telephone Intervention

Learn More
Care Call:  A First Look at a Telephone Program for Persons with Spinal Cord Injury

Care Call:  A First Look at a Telephone Program for Persons with Spinal Cord Injury

Learn More
Differential Impact and Use of a Telehealth Intervention by Persons with MS or SCI

Differential Impact and Use of a Telehealth Intervention by Persons with MS or SCI

Learn More
Development and Initial Evaluation of the SCI-FI/AT

Development and Initial Evaluation of the SCI-FI/AT

Learn More
Spinal Cord Injury-Functional Index: Item Banks to Measure Physical Functioning in Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal Cord Injury-Functional Index: Item Banks to Measure Physical Functioning in Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury

Learn More
Biomarker of Lower Extremity Bone Density

Biomarker of Lower Extremity Bone Density

Learn More
Physical Activity Measures and Their Association with Depression and Satisfaction

Physical Activity Measures and Their Association with Depression and Satisfaction

Learn More
Tracking Functional Status across the SCI Lifespan

Tracking Functional Status across the SCI Lifespan

Learn More

Publications

Carvalho, Sandra & Leite, Jorge & Jones, Felipe & R. Morse, Leslie & Zafonte, Ross & Fregni, Felipe. (2017). Study adherence in a tDCS longitudinal clinical trial with people with spinal cord injury pdf-icon. Spinal Cord. doi:10.1038/s41393-017-0023-5

S E Skeels, D Pernigotti, B V Houlihan, T Belliveau, M Brody, J Zazula, S Hasiotis, S Seetharama, D Rosenblum & A Jette. SCI peer health coach influence on self-management with peers: a qualitative analysis pdf-icon Spinal Cord (2017) 55, 1016–1022 (2017)

Thibaut A, Carvalho S, Morse L, Zafonte R, Fregni F. Delayed pain decrease following M1 tDCS in spinal cord injury: A randomized controlled clinical trial Neurosci Letters. pdf-icon 2017 Sep 29;658:19-26. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2017.08.024.

Vergo Houlihan, B; Brody, M; Everhart-Skeels, S; Pernigotti, D; Burnett, S; Zazula, J; Green, C; Hasiotis, S; Belliveau, T; Seetharama, S; Rosenblum, D; Jette, A (2017). Randomized Trial of a Peer-Led, Telephone-Based Empowerment Intervention for Persons With Chronic Spinal Cord Injury Improves Health Self-Management. pdf-icon Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 98, 1067–1076

Quick Review: http://www.msktc.org/lib/docs/Quick_Reviews/SCI_Randomized_Trial.pdfB

B Houlihan, S Everhart-Skeels, D Gutnick, D Pernigotti, J Zazula, M Brody, S Burnett, H Mercier, S Hasiotis, C Green, S Seetharama, T Belliveau, D Rosenblum, A Jette. Empowering Adults with Chronic Spinal Cord Injury to Prevent Secondary Conditions pdf-icon Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Volume 97, Issue 10, 2016, Pages 1687-1695.e5, ISSN 0003-9993.

Houlihan, B; Brody, M; Plant, A; Skeels, SE.; Zazula, J; Pernigotti, D; Green, C; Hasiotis, S; Jette, A (2016). Health care self-advocacy strategies for negotiating health care environments: Analysis of recommendations by satisfied consumers with SCI and SCI practitioners. pdf-icon Topics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation, 22, 13-26.

Full article is available from NARIC under Accession Number J73144.
Research in Focus post SCI Advocates and SCI Practitioners Share Their Strategies

Garshick E, Mulroy S, Graves DE, Greenwald K, Horton JA, Morse LR. Active lifestyle is associated with reduced dyspnea and greater life satisfaction in spinal cord injury. pdf-icon Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2016; 97(10):1721-7.

Timothy Belliveau, Alan M. Jette, Subramani Seetharama, Jeffrey Axt, David Rosenblum, Daniel Larose, Bethlyn Houlihan, Mary Slavin, Chantal Larose Developing Artificial Neural Network Models to Predict Functioning One Year After Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury. pdf-icon Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Volume 97, Issue 10, 2016, Pages 1663-1668.e3, ISSN 0003-9993.

Mercier HW, Ni P, Houlihan BV, Jette A. (2015) Differential impact and use of a telehealth intervention by persons with MS or SCI. pdf-icon American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 94(11), 987-999. PMID: 25888652.

Quick Review: http://www.msktc.org/lib/docs/Quick_Reviews/SCI_Telehealth_Intervention_.pdf

Jette, A.M., Slavin, M.D., Ni, P., Kisala, P.A., Tulsky, D.S., Heinemann, A.W.,… Williams, S. (2015). Development and initial evaluation of the SCI-FI/AT. pdf-icon The Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine, 38(3). DOI 10.1179/2045772315Y.0000000003

Quick Review: http://www.msktc.org/lib/docs/Quick_Reviews/SCI_Development_SCI-FIAT.pdf

Tian F, Ni P, Mulcahey MJ, Hambleton RK, Tulsky D, Haley SM, Jette AM. (2014) Tracking functional status across the spinal cord injury lifespan: Linking pediatric and adult patient-reported outcome scores. pdf-icon Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 95(11), 2078-2085. PMID: 24933214.

Quick Review: http://www.msktc.org/lib/docs/Quick_Reviews/SCI_Tracking_Functional_Status.pdf

Heinemann A, Dijkers M, Ni P, Tulsky D, Jette, AM. (2014) Measurement properties of the Spinal Cord Injury-Functional Index (SCI-FI) short forms. pdf-icon Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 95(7), 1289-1297. PMCID: PMC4382921.

Heinemann A, Dijkers M, Ni P, Tulsky D, Jette, AM. (2014) Measurement properties of the Spinal Cord Injury-Functional Index (SCI-FI) short forms. pdf-icon Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 95(7), 1289-1297. PMCID: PMC4382921.

Sinha R, Slavin MD, Ni P, Jette AM. (2014). Functional ability level development and validation providing clinical meaning for Spinal Cord Injury Functional Index scores. pdf-icon Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, S0003-9993(14), 01271-4.

Doherty AL, Battaglino RA, Donovan J, Gagnon D, Lazzari AA, Garshick E, Zafonte R, Morse LR. Adiponectin is a candidate biomarker of lower extremity bone density in men with chronic spinal cord injury. pdf-icon J Bone Miner Res. 2014 Jan;29(1):251-9. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.2020.

Quick Review: http://www.msktc.org/lib/docs/Quick_Reviews/SCI_Adiponectin_Candidate_Biomarker.pdf

Houlihan BV, Jette A, Friedman RH, Paasche-Orlow M, Ni P, Wierbicky J, Williams K, Ducharme S, Zazula J, Cuevas P, Rosenblum D, Williams S. (2013) A pilot study of a telehealth intervention for persons with spinal cord dysfunction. pdf-icon Spinal Cord, 51(6), 715-720.

Quick Review: http://www.msktc.org/lib/docs/Quick_Reviews/SCI_Telehealth_Intervention_.pdf

Jette AM, Tulsky DS, Ni P, Kisala P, Slavin M, Dijkers MP, Heinemann AW, Tate D, Whiteneck G, Charlifue S, Houlihan B, Williams S, Kirshblum S, Dyson-Hudson T, Zanca J, Fyffe D. (2012) Development and initial evaluation of the Spinal Cord Injury-Functional Index (SCI-FI). pdf-icon Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 93(10), 1733-50.

Tulsky, D. S., Jette, A. M., Kisala, P. A., Kalpakjian, C., Dijkers, M. P., Whiteneck, G., and Pengsheng, N. et al. (2012). Spinal cord injury-functional index: item banks to measure physical functioning in individuals with spinal cord injury. pdf-icon Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation, 93(10), 1722-1732.

Quick Review: http://www.msktc.org/lib/docs/Quick_Reviews/SCI_Development_SCI-FIAT.pdf

Morse LR, Sudhakar S, Danilack V, Tun C, Lazzari A, Gagnon DR, Garshick E, Battaglino RA. Association between Sclerostin and Bone Density in Chronic SCI pdf-icon Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. 2012;27(2):352-359.

Tulsky DS, Jett, AM, Kisala PA, Kalpakjian C, Dijkers MP, Whiteneck G, Ni P, Kirshblum S, Charlifue S, Heinemann AW, Forchheimer M, Slavin M, Houlihan BV, Tate D, Dyson-Hudson T, Fyffe D, Williams S, Zanca J. (2012) The Spinal Cord Injury- Functional Index: Item banks to measure physical functioning of individuals with spinal cord injury. pdf-icon Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 93(10), 1722-32. PMCID: PMC3910090. Also available online: Epub, DOI 2012.05.007.

Quick Review: http://www.msktc.org/lib/docs/Quick_Reviews/SCI_Functional_Index.pdf

Houlihan BV, Jette A, Paasche-Orlow M, Wierbicky J, Ducharme S, Zazula J, Cuevas P, Friedman RH, Williams S. (2011) A telerehabilitation intervention for persons with spinal cord dysfunction pdf-icon American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 90(9), 756-64.

Jette A. Contributor, Chapter 4: Rehabilitation. World Report on Disability pdf-icon WHO, 2011.

Kalpakjian C, Houlihan B, Meade MA, Karana-Zebari D, Heinemann AW, Dijkers MP, Wierbicky JM, Charlifue S. (2011) Marital status, marital transitions, well-being and spinal cord injury: An examination of the effects of sex and time. pdf-icon Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 92(3), 433-440.

Norweg A, Jette A, Houlihan B, Ni P, Boninger M. (2011) Patterns and benefits of driving a modified vehicle after spinal cord injury: Findings from the National Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems. pdf-icon Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 92, 477-483.

Efficacy of “Care Call” Telerehabilitation Intervention for Persons with Spinal Cord Dysfunction: Randomized Controlled Trial.

Houlihan B, Jette A, Pengsheng N, Paasche-Orlow M, Friedman R, Ducharme S, Wierbicky J, Zazula J, Rosenblum D, Williams S.

Presented at the 2011 ACRM-ASNR Annual Conference, Atlanta, GA, Oct 11-15, 2011.

Engaging Consumers in Community Research and Education.

Zazula J, Pernigotti D, Houlihan B, DeJoie C, Rosenblum D, Williams K, Williams S.

Presented at Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, NV September 5-7, 2011.

Using the Internet as a Treatment Modality for Individuals with SCI.

DeJoie, C, Houlihan B, Williams S.

Presented at American Spinal Cord Injury Association Annual Meeting 2010, Nashville, TN 5/26-5/28/10.

Development of a Novel Automated Telehealth System for People with Spinal Cord Dysfunction.

Houlihan B, Jette A, Paasche-Orlow M, Wierbicky J, Zazula J, Dicker K, Cuevas P, Ducharme S, Williams S.

presented at 2009 SCI Contemporary Forums conference March 18-20, Orlanda, FL; 2009

Use of the Internet with SCI.

Houlihan B.

presented at SCI Contemporary Forums, Boston, MA, March 2007.

Computer & Internet Use by Individuals after a Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury.

Jette A, Goodman N, Houlihan B, Williams S.

presented at Global Spinal Cord Injury Conference,Reykjavik, Iceland July 27- July 1, 2007