Held at the
Harry and Diane Rinker Health Science Campus
, students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends and family gathered to view the Crean C
Class of 2015 student research presentations. Telerehabilitation, robotic devices, body mass perception, gait analysis, and dance therapy were just some of the interesting projects the students displayed. As we made the rounds through the presentation hall, we recognized that each student took great pride in their endeavors and in describing their outcomes. In nearly all studies, the participants will continue to be monitored and results will be kept up to date.

Spencer Dehnavi explored community based dance for those with Parkinson’s disease and if participation could lead to improvements in symptoms. A dancer herself, Dehnavi researched studies monitored in styles such as Argentine tango as well as ballroom dancing.  Subjects in these studies who were participating in various forms of regular dance, showed improvements in balance and endurance. More importantly, they reported overall life improvements including in their relationships. Research completed with
Dr. Lynn Tierney
, Dehnavi also consulted with
Dr. Sara Gilliland
on quantitative research to find themes.

Down the hall, Brianna
Roberts, Brittney Tanaka, and Matthew Asmus used ‘The R Project,’ a free software system for statistical computing. The students sought to find how efficiently the software could document physical therapy outcomes in order to justify treatment to patients and third party payers. Patient progress was graphed for several subjects including a clinic patient, a 6-month old baby, and a 26-year old who was recovering from ACL surgery. Brittney Tanaka utilized a slow motion camera to study the progress of recovery following ACL surgery and recorded the data using the R Project software. In all subjects, the software was found to be helpful in its visual demonstration of patient progress.

Students stands with research board
The children at a local
Boys & Girls Clubs
organization agreed to participate together with
Dr. Marybeth Grant-Beuttler
and DPT students for several research projects. In one, Chris Van Thiel, Jenny Mundy, Emmeline Shih, Cindy Mack, and Amanda Centeno measured body mass perception to see if children could accurately pick the image that most closely matched their own body shape. They found that those who were considered in normal weight range were more likely to pick images of larger body shapes compared to their own. In contrast, those who measured as overweight or greater were generally more accurate in picking the body shape that matched their own individual shape.  In addition, students explored the perception of enjoying exercise and the internal vs. external motivations to exercise.

Erin Griffith spoke enthusiastically of her study regarding a 12-year old boy
Student stands with research board
who was primarily ‘toe walking,’ a condition where one walks just on the ball of the foot. Griffith took interest in the study with Dr. Grant-Beuttler as she had experienced this condition at a young age, eventually treated with surgery. By placing a wedge in the subject’s shoes to encourage heel striking, his gate and balance showed improvements during the course of the study. Griffith’s hope is that treatments such as this example are reducing the amount of surgery needed for children who toe walk.  There were many more presentations to visit, including Sewdaye Mahraj who presented her impressive stroke therapy research utilizing robotic interventions. Research included DPT alumni David Didlake ’09 and
Dr. Alison McKenzie

Congratulations to all on your research accomplishments as you make your way towards commencement and your final trimester completion in August!  We look forward to seeing you and your families at our
as the exciting DPT research continues.