About Physical Disability and Rehabilitation
Physical disabilities can impact many areas of life; movement, hearing, vision, and more can all become limited or impaired. Some disorders like spina bifida and cerebral palsy develop before birth, but many others result from infections, diseases, or accidents in later life. Devices like wheelchairs, hearing aids, and braces can provide some assistance, but room for improvement always exists. By using advanced technology like cell phone apps and robotics, researchers work to improve existing aids and develop innovative new devices.
AFPI Reliability and Validity
The purpose of this study is to establish the reliability and validity of the ASSIST Functional Performance Index (AFPI), developed to assess the independent living skills of persons with physical disabilities to identify activity challenges that may be addressed using mainstream smart home technology (MSHT) as Assistive Technology (AT) and measure changes in activity performance with AT use.
Movement Disorders Research Registry
Do you have a movement disorder? If so, you may be able to participate in the Movement Disorders Registry. This registry is a list of individuals who are interested in being contacted about future research studies.
Human Engineering Research Laboratories (HERL) Registry
Do you use an assistive device like a wheelchair, scooter, prosthesis (artificial limb), or cane? Are you interested in learning about research related to assistive technology? If so, you may be able to join the Human Engineering Research Laboratories (HERL) Registry. Participants will be informed of current and future research studies, but are not obligated to participate in a research study.
Smartphone Self-Care for Chronic Conditions
Do you have spina bifida, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, or cerebral palsy? Researchers at Pitt are looking for adults with these chronic conditions to give feedback on new smartphone apps designed to make self-care more manageable. Compensation provided.
Above the Knee Amputee Research Study
Are you 18-80 years old? Do you have an above the knee amputation and are walking in a conventional socket prosthesis? You may be able to participate in a study to find out how socket design changes affect comfort and mobility for amputees. Participation involves undergoing a CT scan, high-speed X-ray imaging, and ultrasound. Compensation is provided.
STEP-HI: Hip Fracture Recovery Research Study
Are you a woman age 65 or older who had surgery to repair a hip fracture within the past five months? You may be eligible to participate in a research study to help find out if an exercise program, with or without hormone replacement therapy, improves physical functioning after a hip fracture. Transportation is provided.
In-wheel Suspension Study for Manual Wheelchair Users
Do you have a spinal cord injury which occurred at least one year ago and use a manual wheelchair full time (30+ hours per week)? You may be able to participate in a study to examine how in-wheel suspension in manual wheelchairs changes vibrational exposure and how this impacts pain and fatigue. This study involves 2 in-person visits and 12-weeks of in-wheel suspension use. Compensation provided.
MyPaTH Story Booth 2.0
Interested in sharing your story about health, illness, or research? Patients and caregivers are needed to participate in a research study to help learn more about topics that are important to you and that may improve health and health care. Participation involves one 45-minute session that takes place over the phone. Eligible participants must be able to read and understand English.
MyPaTH Story Booth – COVID-19 Stories
Participants are invited to share how they are maintaining their health during the coronavirus pandemic, or to share what it is like being ill with COVID-19 and/or caring for a loved one who is ill with COVID-19. Participation in this research study involves one 45-minute session that takes place over the phone. Eligible participants must be able to read and understand English.
Spinal Cord Stimulation for the treatment of motor deficits in people with Spinal Muscular Atrophy
Are you affected by Spinal Muscular Atrophy? You may be able to participate in a research study using spinal cord stimulation (SCS), an approved clinical therapy for pain syndromes that do not respond to drugs. Unexpectedly, SCS has shown the ability to promote the recovery of leg motor function in people with complete motor paralysis in consequence of spinal cord injury years after injury.
Did you have a stroke within the past 6 months and are still experiencing one-sided arm weakness from the stroke? Are 18-80 years old? You may be able to participate in a research study to help find out if non-invasive brain stimulation combined with rehabilitation therapy improves arm weakness. Compensation is provided.
All of Us Pennsylvania Research Program
You may be able to change the future of medicine. The All of Us PA Research Program is enrolling adults 18 years of age or older. This may be your chance to improve how your children and your children’s children receive medical care.
Caregiver Assisted Transfer Technique Instrument (CATT) Evaluation Study – Caregiver
Do you routinely provide transfer assistance to an adult with a physical disability? You and your care recipient may be able to participate in a study to evaluate CATT by using it to find out how individuals with physical disabilities and their caregivers perform assisted transfers. Eligible participants have served as a caregiver for at least 3 months. Compensation is provided.
Caregiver Assisted Transfer Technique Instrument (CATT) Evaluation Study – Care Recipient
Have you had a physical disability diagnosis for at least the past 2 years? Do you use a wheeled mobility device at least 30 hours/week, and require assistance with transfers? You and your caregiver may be able to participate in a study to evaluate CATT by using it to find out how individuals with physical disabilities and their caregivers perform assisted transfers. Compensation is provided.
Real World Testing of AAC-BCI
Do have a have a severe disability, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, or locked-in syndrome? If so, you may be interested in participating in a study that would provide an augmentative and alternative communication system with brain computer interface access that could be used in the home. Eligible participants require wheelchair assistive technology.
Improving Measurement and Treatment of Post-Stroke Neglect – Study 2
Have you had a stroke? Do you have trouble paying attention to both sides of your body because of the stroke and have weakness in your arm or hand? You may be able to participate in a study (3-4 visits with MRI scan) to examine how using non-invasive brain stimulation affects brain activity, arm movement, and the ability to pay attention to each side of your body. Compensation is provided.
Chronic Low Back Pain with Mood Symptoms Study
Have you had chronic low back pain for at least six months and also have depression or anxiety symptoms? Are you aged 18-75? You may be able to participate in a research study to compare antidepressant medication and physical therapy for people with chronic low back who also have anxiety and depression symptoms. Compensation is provided.
Are you currently experiencing low back pain? Did this episode of back pain start in the last three months? You may be eligible to participate in a research study comparing different therapies to treat low back pain and prevent it from reoccurring in the future. Participants will be compensated.
Opportunities to Improve Recovery after Injury
Have you been involved in a physical injury that resulted in seeking Emergency Department treatment within the past 30-days? You may be able to participate in a research study to help us learn how to improve the recovery process. Participation involves downloading and using a mobile phone for 1-week, then sharing your feedback and recovery experiences in a 60-minute online interview.
Muscle Loss Research Study
Have you suffered from muscle and tendon tissue loss to your arm and/or leg due to a traumatic injury in the past 18 months? You may be able to participate in a study to examine the ability of a surgical graft to restore your muscle cells in the area of your injury. Eligible participants are 18-70 years old and are at least 3 months from initial injury. Reimbursement is provided.
Do you have a leg amputation above the ankle and below the knee? Did your amputation occur more than 6 months ago? You may be able to participate in a research study to help develop a neuroprosthetic device that stimulates nerves with the goal of producing sensations that feel like they come from the amputated limb. Eligible participants are 22-70 years old. Compensation is provided.
A Sensorimotor Microelectrode Brain-Machine Interface
Do you have little or no ability to use your hands due to a cervical spinal cord injury, brainstem stroke, or spinal stroke? Are you aged 22-70? If so, you may be eligible to take part in a research study involving brain-machine interface (BMI) technology. BMI technology uses signals recorded from the brain to control devices such as a computer or a robotic limb. Compensation provided.
Electrode Headgear Testing Study
Do you use an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device or do you have ALS? If so, you may be interested in helping researchers by testing a newly designed dry electrode headset. Involves 1 session lasting up to 4 hours that will include communication tasks, such as copying sentences and describing a picture, along with completion of an online survey. Compensation is provided.
Remote Wheelchair Maintenance Training Program
Do you use a wheelchair as your primary means of mobility (over 40 hours a week) due to a traumatic spinal cord injury? If so, you may be interested in participating in a research study to find out if an online training program designed to teach people how to improve wheelchair maintenance techniques is effective. Compensation provided.
Restoring Sensation after Arm Amputation
Do you have an amputation of one or both arms? Are you between 18 and 70? If so, you may be able to take part in a research study designed to develop new technologies that may improve prosthetic (artificial limb) control and reduce phantom limb pain. Compensation provided.