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“Roll on the Hill” Event Spurs New Clinical Trial

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In April of 2017, Jessica Pedersen from the Center for Rehabilitation Outcomes Research (CROR) went to Washington DC to participate in the “Roll on the Hill” event. She advocated for wheelchair users in an effort to prevent back supports and other critical wheelchair components to be grouped into competitive bidding pricing.

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Using her occupational therapy background, Jessica was able to explain why a more expensive commercial back would be clinically beneficial versus the fabric one that came with the wheelchair. Although she made a good case, Pedersen had little documented evidence to support her claims. Coincidentally, Cindy Smith, a physical therapist from Craig hospital, had the same lack of statistical evidence. Consequently, the two decided to create a pilot research project to assess which outcomes would demonstrate the effects of a back support and collect data.

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Jessica was able to procure a small grant from Motion Concepts, a device manufacturing company. These funds allowed Cindy to travel to Chicago and for Jessica to bring on Kelly Askins, Molly Henry, Heather Roussel and Lindsey Yingling, who are Shirley Ryan AbilityLab physical therapists. Although this is a small grant, Jessica hopes to get more funding once they get additional clinical data. She plans to report preliminary findings at the international Seating Symposium in Vancouver, CA, in March of 2019.

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