Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University
Jefferson College of Rehabilitation Sciences
Department of Occupational Therapy

Measurement & Outcomes Research Lab

Understanding what intervention(s) work, from whom, how and why is predicated on the use of psychometrically sound and precise measurement instruments. Projects in this laboratory focus on development, validation and implementation of measures of impairment, activity performance, participation, health-related quality of life, quality of life, and environment, with a focus on novel and contemporary measurement methodologies. The projects are intended to build evidence in support of interventions and programs that are aimed at improving and sustaining everyday living.

Mission

The mission is twofold. First, to develop and validate measurement methods and outcome instruments that generate reliable data that are meaningful and precise, inform occupational therapy treatment, and engage clients in shared decision-making; and secondly, to utilize valid instruments in outcomes research to build evidence in support of practice. 

General Laboratory Description

Understanding what intervention(s) work, from whom, how and why is predicated on the use of psychometrically sound and precise measurement instruments. Projects in this laboratory focus on development, validation and implementation of measures of impairment, activity performance, participation, health-related quality of life, quality of life, and environment, with a focus on novel and contemporary measurement methodologies. The projects are intended to build evidence in support of interventions and programs that are aimed at improving and sustaining everyday living.

Current Projects

  1. Knowledge translation of the Spinal Cord Injury Functional Index (SCI-FI), the Pediatric Spinal Cord Injury Activity Measure (PEDI-SCI AM) and Pediatric Measure of Participation (PMoP). MJ Mulcahey (PI), in collaboration with Drs. Mary Slavin (Boston University) and Ms. Christina Thielen.
    The purpose of this project is to utilize methodologies aligned with implementation science to transform research prototypes of the Spinal Cord Injury Functional Index (SCI-FI), the Pediatric Spinal Cord Injury Activity Measure (PEDI-SCI AM) and Pediatric Measure of Participation (PMoP) into outcome measures that are feasible to administer at the clinical point of care, and that are considered useful by end-users (practitioners and consumers). Students have the opportunity to assist with transcription and interpretation of focus groups, developing and validating score reports, revising users’ manuals for selection, administration and scoring the instruments. Funded by the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation.
  2. Staging and Replenishment of the Pediatric Measure of Participation (PMoP) MJ Mulcahey (PI) in collaboration with Drs. Wendy Coster and Jessica Krammer (Boston University), and Ms. Christina Thielen.
    This study is designed to 1/. Validate the theoretical model of participation that is used for the PMoP, 2/. create functional stages for score reports for the PMoP, and 3/. to replenish a large item bank of participation for children and youth with cerebral palsy and arthrogryposis. Students have the opportunity to engage in focus groups, and to transcribe and assist with analysis of cognitive interviews and interviews using photo elicitation. Current Student Project: “Non-Injury Related Predictors of Participation Among Youth with Spinal Cord Injury” (Lindsey Siska, candidate for MPH, Jefferson College of Population Health). Funded by the Shriners Hospitals for Children.  
  3. Diffusion Tensor Imaging as a Biomarker for Pediatric Spinal Cord Injury. MJ Mulcahey and Feroze Mohamed (Co-PI) in collaboration with Dr. Laura Krisa.
    Determining the location and severity of spinal cord injury, and evaluating the neurological consequence of spinal cord injury in children using the International Standards for Neurological Classification of Spinal Cord Injury is not feasible in children younger than six, and difficulty in children as old as 10. This study is focused on developing and validating novel imaging methods to evaluate pediatric SCI. Students have the opportunity to observe the neurological examination of children and youth with SCI, and assist with recording of data collection in real-time. Students will be part of a multi-disciplinary research team, and learn about novel methodologies used to assess neurological consequence of SCI. Funded by the National Institutes of Neurological Diseases and Stroke (NINDS).  
  4. Development and Validation of the Bowel Version 2.0, Caregiver, Education, and Activity and Participation International Basic Data Sets for Children and Youth. MJ Mulcahey (PI).
    This is an international effort that engages pediatric and adult spinal cord injury content experts, including caregivers of persons with SCI and those living with SCI. The purpose of the work is to develop and validate a basic set of highly relevant information that should be recorded at the time of clinical visits. The goal is to standardize the collection and recording of the information so that data can be pooled to facilitate comparisons across practice environments, and to inform best practice. Students have the opportunity to learn survey methodology such as the Modified Delphi Technique, to engage in small consensus building work groups, and to implement validation protocols. Funded by the Rick Hansen Institute.  
  5. Feasibility of Coaching Mothers of Children with Spinal Cord Injury for Participation Outcomes for Themselves and Their Children. MJ Mulcahey (PI) in collaboration with Drs. Campbell, and Christina Thielen.
    This project is intended to determine 1/. If mothers of children with SCI can engage in coaching intervention, including identifying and describing participation goals for themselves and their children, 2/. If practitioners can implement coaching interventions, with fidelity, 3/. The number of coaching sessions required to reach desired participation outcomes, and 4/. If differences exist between outcomes when coaching is delivered face-to-face versus skype. Students will have the opportunity to receive formal coaching training, implement coaching interventions, and assess treatment fidelity. Funded by the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation.
  6. Scoping Review of the Literature Activity Based Therapy Interventions for the Neurological Impaired Upper Limb. Ralph J. Marino (PI) in collaboration with Drs. Mulcahey and Grampurohit.
    This project is stage one of a five year project for the SCI Models Systems Program (housed at Jefferson). The purpose of the project is to conduct a scoping of the literature to inform the development of upper extremity intervention that align to the principles of activity based rehabilitation. Students have the opportunity to learn how to interface with Covidence, which is a software designed to support scoping and systematic reviews. Current Student Project: “Conceptual Mapping of the Scoping Review Literature on Activity Based Rehabilitation” (Eron Bozec, OTDPP student, Jefferson University, Center City Campus). Funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research.
  7. Scoping Review of the Literature on Interventions that Support Transition from School to Gainful Employment in Young People with Intellectual Disability. Taryn Rosner (cOTD) with mentorship from MJ Mulcahey.
    This doctoral project involves a scoping review of the literature on interventions that support transition from school to gainful employment for young people with intellectual disabilities. Current Students: Madelyn Adams, OTD student (Center City Campus) and Allyson Psillos, MS OT student (center city campus).
  8. Systematic Review of the Literature on Psychometric Properties and Clinical Utility of Upper Extremity Function Measures in Neurological Conditions
    This project is in collaboration with University of Washington and housed at Jefferson University. This project examines the reliability and validity of the upper extremity function measures identified through a systematic search of databases in a two-step search process. Step 1 was identification of the measures and step 2 was identification of studies reporting psychometric properties. Students will have the opportunity to participate in data extraction and synthesis of results. (Namrata Grampurohit)
  9. Development and validation of an Upper Extremity Function Measure with Combined Self-reported and Performance-based items in Neurological Conditions.
    This project will be conducted at Jefferson for 3 years for a pilot study to examine the psychometric properties and examine items for continued development in paper-based and online formats. This study will begin data collection in the coming months. Students will have the opportunity to collect data under supervision, record, analyze and synthesize. (Namrata Grampurohit)
  10. Eye-gaze Technology and its Feasibility to Improve Outcomes in Preschool-age Children with Disabilities
    This project is a collaboration with Easterseals of Pennsylvania and Linköping University (Sweden) mainly conducted at Easterseals. A new protocol for training using eye-gaze technology for children with and without intellectual disabilities is being investigated for its feasibility in improving outcomes in pre-school age children and to determine selection criteria appropriate for trial of eye-gaze technology for therapists working with the children. Students will have the opportunity to analyze retrospective data and engage in dissemination with a highly specialized group of clinicians. (Namrata Grampurohit)
  11. Rehab Measures Database Task Force
    This project involves developing instrument summaries for the Rehab Measures database at Shirley Ryan Ability Lab. Another related project is the linking of common data elements with outcome measures. Students will have the opportunity to get involved in developing instrument summaries (Namrata Grampurohit).
  12. Online Teaching and Learning Evidence to Inform Course Development
    This project involves a scoping review of literature to determine the current evidence to support online teaching and learning. Students will have the opportunity to examine a subgroup of literature related to curriculum or technology within occupational therapy online teaching (Namrata Grampurohit).
  13. Effectiveness of virtual reality intervention in people with neurological conditions.
    This project is conducted by a virtual rehabilitation company Bright Cloud International Corp. funded through small business innovation grant from NIH with Dr. Grampurohit consulting on studying the effectiveness of virtual reality in chronic stroke, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson disease, and pain. Students will have the opportunity to participate in the Parkinson disease study planned for Center City Campus pending funding decisions (Namrata Grampurohit).
  14. Developing item response theory (IRT) based performance measures using existing calibrated item banks of patient reported outcomes (PRO).
    This project involves developing the conceptual foundations for this novel approach using IRT methods in performance-based measures to develop state-of-the-art outcomes measures in rehabilitation. (Drs. Grampurohit and Mulcahey)

Faculty

MJ Mulcahey, PhD, OTR\L
Professor

Namrata Grampurohit, PhD, OTR/L

Philippa H. Campbell, PhD, OTR\L, FAOTA
Professor

Stephen B. Kern, PhD, OTR\L, FAOTA
Professor
Director, Master of Science Program, Center City

Laura Krisa, PhD
Assistant Professor

Daniel Graves, PhD

Feroze Mohamed, PhD

Ralph Marino, MD

Catherine V. Piersol, PhD, OTR\L, FAOTA
Associate Professor
Chair
Director, Jefferson Elder Care

Rebecca Sinko, OTD, OTR\L
Assistant Professor

Christina Thielen, MSPT


For more information contact:

Mary Jane "MJ" Mulcahey, PhD, OTR/L
Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy
(215) 503-2888
MaryJane.Mulcahey@jefferson.edu