Doctor of Physical Therapy Students Present 2014 Research Projects
Utility NavTop NavContentLeft NavSite SearchSite SearchSite Search

Doctor of Physical Therapy Students Present 2014 Research Projects

December 14, 2014

2014 DPT Students

On December 11, 2014, the senior class of the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program presented their faculty-guided research projects at the annual Rehabilitation Sciences Research Symposium. The presentations were the culminatation of research efforts that spanned the past year.


Mobility Score Normative Study: Assessing typical functional balance in adults ranging from 20-99 years of age.

Students: Ryan Ebert, Chelsea Miller, Linsey Neglio, Mark Reynolds, Julie Riley

Description: The purpose of this project is to obtain normative functional balance performance and fall-risk data for a wide range of typical individuals (ages 20-99 years). These normative Mobility Score data are expected to be useful for setting age-matched standards for the functional rehabilitation goals of persons undergoing clinical care. These normative data may also be useful for setting expectations of balance performance in the process of healthy aging.

Advisor: Kevin Ball, PhD, Catherine Certo, PT, ScD, Walter Gorak, DPT (AllStar Therapy)

Development of Trunk Stability (DOTS)

Students: Sarah Berkowitz, Stephanie Curcio, Nicole Kelleher, Chelsea Medeiros, Danielle Smith

Description: The goal of this study is to create normalized standards for development of segmental trunk control in typical infants. These data will be used to create benchmarks that will allow clinicians to detect trunk control problems sooner in children who are at risk for disability.

Advisor: Sandra Saavedra, PT, PhD, Carol Da Costa, PT, PhD candidate (Federal Univ of Sao Carlos, Brazil

Stability in Trunk with Cerebral Palsy (SIT with CP)

Students: Ryan Carew, Andrea Kaminski, Sara Lefkowitz, Andres Mazo, Leah Raitt

Description: There is a paucity of research, interventions and outcome measures for functional change in children with moderate to severe disability. This study will address this need by contributing information across the spectrum from basic science to clinical practice to implementation by families. We are collaborating with The Movement Centre, Oswestry, UK.

Advisors: Sandra Saavedra, PT, PhD and Danni Bellows, PT, MPH, PCH (Connecticut Children’s Medical Center), Carol Da Costa, PT, PhD candidate (Federal Univ of Sao Carlos, Brazil

Best Evidence for Improving Strength and Function in Individuals with Cerebral Palsy

Students: Ilicia Mathis, Miranda Wallace, Brian Lilley, Jason Harnett

Description: The students will describe their scientific inquiry experience around effective treatments for individuals with cerebral palsy, with a focus on interventions that link structural and functional outcomes. The students describe their initial experience with a retrospective dataset, learning about best evidence for strengthening in cerebral palsy, applying evidence to an exercise program, and sharing their knowledge with clinicians in the community. The students had the opportunity to perform a series of in-services at Shriner¹s Hospital for Children, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center-Farmington, Glastonbury, and Hartford. The students modeled evidence-based practice, by synthesizing the evidence and applying it to practice.

Advisors: Mary Ganotti, PT, PhD, George Gorton, MS (Shriner’s Hospital for Children)

International and Local Testing of Prosthetic Education Tools

Students: Meaghan Battige, Erika Jackson, Michael Liguore, Serena Liu, Patrick McCallum, Alyssa Schmidt, Corie Sigan

Description: International prosthetic education tools created by University of Hartford teams were tested in Connecticut, Uganda, Kenya, and Peru. These tools consist of posters, take-home pamphlets, a clinician manual, and a knowledge assessment quiz. They were designed for wide-spread usage amongst persons with low literacy skills. Testing results are presented.

Advisors: Diana Veneri PT, EdD, NCS, Adam Goodworth, PhD

Evidence Based Examination and Intervention of Scapular Dyskinesis

Students: Greg Anderson, Liat Avital, Caitlyn Hauswirth, Cricket Medbery, Eric Sokolowski, Anna Zyla

Description: This is an abbreviated version of the 3 hour program presented at the October 2014 Connecticut Physical Therapy Association Annual conference in New Haven, CT. This presentation will describe normal and abnormal scapula motion as well as the evidence based methods of examination and intervention associated with scapula dyskinesis.

Advisors: John Leard EdD, PT, ATC

The Effect of Therapeutic Ultrasound on Shoulder Range of Motion: Random Controlled Trial

Students: Ian Brokaw, Keith Chittenden, Justin Maurizio, Samuel Min, Warren Rodrick

Description: The purpose of this research proposal will show that the vigorous heating effects of therapeutic ultrasound when applied to the posterior aspect of the shoulder, coupled with stretching specific to the posterior structures, will have a greater effect on shoulder range of motion when compared to stretching without the application of thermal ultrasound. An increase in range of motion at the shoulder in the direction of internal rotation will be indicative of posterior capsule/musculature lengthening.

Advisor: Paul Higgins DPT, ATC, CSCS