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Six research groups headed to West Coast conference

Physical Therapy students

Six faculty/student research projects from the University of North Georgia’s Department of Physical Therapy have been selected for presentation at the upcoming American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting (CSM) in San Diego.

The CSM is a collaborative effort between the American Physical Therapy Association and 18 specialty sections, drawing more than 10,000 physical therapists and physical therapist assistants. From Jan. 21-24, the UNG groups will showcase cutting-edge techniques and research developed during the long-term, combined-effort projects.

“The program includes the dissemination of research in the form of poster and platform presentations in addition to many other educational sessions,” said Dr. Ruth Maher, associate professor of physical therapy and contributor to one of the projects. “This year, our university will be well represented, with six of the eight submitted projects having been accepted for presentation.”

The Department of Physical Therapy involves students in research throughout the pursuit of their degrees as it provides critical experience and often professional networking opportunities.

“While the research in our department is faculty driven, every student is involved in research and the program requires the completion of a research project,” Maher said. “Many of these projects are presented nationally and internationally.”

Maher stressed that clinical research is important for the continued growth of the physical therapy profession, citing that research endeavors such as these projects ultimately lead to improved patient care.

“All the research being presented at the 2013 CSM will result in peer-reviewed publications for the students, a noteworthy accomplishment prior to graduation,” Maher said. “The conference also provides an excellent opportunity for the students to network and meet potential employers prior to earning their degrees.”

The following projects will be presented at the 2013 CSM:

  • The Effect of a Supervised Group Wellness Exercise Program on Balance, Gait and Quality of Life in Individuals with Lower Limb Amputation – Dr. Carol Miller and student group
  • The Effects of Portable Oxygen Delivery on Performance and Recovery Time during the Six Minute Walk Test and Stair Climb Test – Dr. Ellen Hillegass, Dr. Dawn Hayes and student group
  • The Use of Whole Body Vibration to Improve Motor Function in Individuals with Global Anoxia: A Case Report – Dr. Terrie Millard, Dr. Stefanie Palma and student group
  • Effect of Ankle Position in Standing on Pelvic Floor Muscle Activity in Healthy Young Continent Women – Dr. Ruth Maher, Dr. Jeanne Welch, Dr. Dawn Hayes and student group
  • What goes up must come down? An analysis of the Periform Plusintravaginal sensor with indicator using simultaneous Ultrasound imaging and Surface Electromyography in healthy continent women – Dr. Ruth Maher and student group
  • Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Accelerometer as a Valid Outcome Measure of Core Stability during Dynamic Activities – Dr. Terrie Millard, Dr. Dawn Hayes and student group

Two other projects were also submitted to the CSM:

  • The Effects of Oscillating Energy Manual Therapy on Symptoms of Diabetic Neuropathy: A Case Study – Dr. Mohammad Nourbakhsh and student group
  • Health Related Factors as Predictors of Anxiety in First-Year DPT Students – Dr. Dawn Hayes, Dr. Jeanne Welch and student group

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