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  Department of Rehabilitation Medicine 
  maximizing potential across the lifespan

Studies Seeking Volunteers

Several of our research studies are currently seeking volunteers. If you would like to participate in, or learn more about one of the projects listed below, please contact the person listed for that project.


Cerebral Palsy Studies

  • Neurogame Therapy for Improvement of Gait and Balance in Children with Cerebral Palsy
  • We want to study a special way of having children with cerebral palsy practice leg muscle contractions using a video game. We will measure how your child moves and controls his/her legs while walking, standing, and lying down. Participation in the study requires that you travel to the University of Washington (UW) 5 times and up to 10 times if you participate in the study. You will receive a stipend for time and travel expenses for each test session and parking reimbursement for each visit to the UW for this study.

    You may qualify for this study if your child:

    • Is between 8-18 years of age
    • Has cerebral palsy with difficulty using both legs
    • Drags toes during walking (without orthotics if typically worn)
    • Can speak and understand English

    For more information please contact Torey Gilbertson, PT at gilbet@uw.edu* or call 425.444.7151
    *We cannot ensure confidentiality of email communication

  • Rehabilitation Gaming Research Study to Improve Arm/Hand Function in Children with Cerebral Palsy
  • Children with cerebral palsy sometimes have difficulty using one arm/hand. The purpose of this research study is to learn more about a new program that practices movements in the arm and hand using a computer game program. The research study can be done in the laboratory or at home. Participation in the study requires that you travel to the University of Washington nine times if you participate in the laboratory study and four times if you participate in the home study.

    You may qualify for this study if your child:

    • Is between 8-16 years of age
    • Has cerebral palsy with difficulty using one arm/hand
    • Can speak and understand English

    For more information please contact Dianne Rios, OTR/L at dirios@uw.edu* or call 206.616.0383
    *We cannot ensure confidentiality of email communication

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    Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Pain Management Studies

  • Power over Pain (POP) Study
  • People with multiple sclerosis (MS) and spinal cord injury (SCI) often experience chronic pain. Different types of treatment that include self-hypnosis, education about chronic pain, and learning skills on how to change how a person thinks about his/her pain have been used to treat chronic pain in the general population. The purpose of this study is to see if these different treatments can help decrease pain in people with MS and SCI, and how and why these treatments are effective.

    Participation in the study involves:

    • Four in-person treatment sessions that last about 60 minutes;
    • Two in-person brain activity assessments at the University of Washington before and after treatment that last about one hour;
    • Telephone interviews before, during and after treatment.

    Participation in the study will last approximately 14 months. Compensation for completion of the brain activity assessments, telephone interviews, and parking will be provided.

    You may be eligible to participate if you are at least 18 years of age, have MS or SCI, and experience chronic pain.

    For further information about this study, please contact research staff at 206.221.7224 or toll-free 1-800-570-5576. You may also provide your contact information by filling out a brief online form and our research staff will contact you shortly.

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    Parkinson's Disease Studies

  • Tandem Biking Class for Parkinson’s
  • The University of Washington Department of Rehabilitation Medicine is seeking volunteers with Parkinson’s disease (PD) to participate in a research study on the effects of stationary tandem biking. Working with a healthy riding partner, participants will gradually increase their riding intensity and duration on a tandem bicycle during a 10-week class. Guidance will be provided in the areas of bike fitting, goal setting, and training tips for health and fitness. A physical therapist and exercise assistant will lead the class. Classes will be held at the Magnuson Park, Brig Building.

    Three testing sessions will be held at UW Northwest Hospital. Each session will last 2.5 hours. We will test your memory, problem solving, and motor function for walking, speech and movement. We will also ask you to ride a stationary bike for 12-14 minutes at moderate intensity.

    You may qualify for this study if:

    • you have a diagnosis of PD
    • you are between 45 & 75 years old
    • you do NOT have a diagnosis of heart disease, diabetes or severe joint pain
    • you have NOT completed a tandem biking program

    Participation in this study is voluntary. If you choose to participate, you will be asked to pay $60.00 for the Tandem Biking Class. You will receive $20.00 for each testing session (a total of $60.00 for the entire study).

    For more information contact Ellen McGough, PT, PhD at 206.543.2681 or emcg@uw.edu *

    *We cannot ensure confidentiality of email communication.

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    Stroke Studies

  • Rehabilitation Gaming Research Study to Improve Arm/Hand Function in Adults post Stroke
  • Adults who have had a stroke sometimes have difficulty using one arm/hand. The purpose of this research study is to learn more about a new program that practices movements in the arm and hand using a computer game program. The research study can be done in the laboratory or at home. Participation in the study requires that you travel to the University of Washington nine times if you participate in the laboratory study and four times if you participate in the home study.

    You may qualify for this study if you:

    • Are between 21 -75 years of age
    • Have had a stroke and have difficulty using one arm/hand
    • Can read, speak, and understand English

    For more information please contact Dianne Rios, OTR/L at dirios@uw.edu* or call 206.616.0383
    *We cannot ensure confidentiality of email communication

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    Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Studies

  • Power over Pain (POP) Study
  • People with multiple sclerosis (MS) and spinal cord injury (SCI) often experience chronic pain. Different types of treatment that include self-hypnosis, education about chronic pain, and learning skills on how to change how a person thinks about his/her pain have been used to treat chronic pain in the general population. The purpose of this study is to see if these different treatments can help decrease pain in people with MS and SCI, and how and why these treatments are effective.

    Participation in the study involves:

    • Four in-person treatment sessions that last about 60 minutes;
    • Two in-person brain activity assessments at the University of Washington before and after treatment that last about one hour;
    • Telephone interviews before, during and after treatment.

    Participation in the study will last approximately 14 months. Compensation for completion of the brain activity assessments, telephone interviews, and parking will be provided.

    You may be eligible to participate if you are at least 18 years of age, have MS or SCI, and experience chronic pain.

    For further information about this study, please contact research staff at 206.221.7224 or toll-free 1-800-570-5576. You may also provide your contact information by filling out a brief online form and our research staff will contact you shortly.

  • SCI-CARE Study
  • Managing your health can be difficult; managing medications, getting relevant health information, or making important lifestyle changes are not easy. This study is designed to improve care for people with SCI who are dealing with pain, low mood, or being less active than they want to be.

    Participants will be randomly assigned (50/50) to receive either usual medical care or usual care plus a health assistant who will:

    • Strengthen the connection between you and your doctor or nurse practitioner.
    • Monitor your progress and assist with any problems that keep you from reaching your goals.
    • Relay information to and from your healthcare provider in between appointments.
    • Offer non-medical alternatives to pain, mood, or becoming more active.
    • Study participation will take place over 4 months.
    • Participants will complete 3 questionnaires by phone (at the beginning of the study, at 4 months, and at 8 months).
    • There is payment of up to $50 for eligible participants.

    You may qualify if you are:

    • A person with a traumatic Spinal Cord Injury.
    • At least 18 years old.
    • Receive care at either Harborview or UW Medical Center Rehabilitation Clinics.

    Most study activities will take place over the phone or at regularly scheduled clinic visits. Extra trips to Harborview or UW facilities will not be necessary to participate in the study.

    Learn more about this study and find out if you qualify by calling Missy at 206.744.3608 (Toll Free 866.495.7015) or send an email to scicare@uw.edu (Note: We cannot guarantee confidentiality of information sent via email)

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    Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Studies

  • Interpersonal Skills Treatment for TBI Survivors
  • Treatment for Social Competence in Military Veterans, Service Members and Civilians with Traumatic Brain Injury. This study is a multisite, randomized, controlled trial of a group intervention to improve social competence in survivors of mild and moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI).

    You may qualify for this study if you:

    • Have had a traumatic brain injury
    • Find it hard to interact with other people
    • Find it difficult to make and keep friends
    • Have problems getting along with family or co-workers

    If you qualify for the study, you would take part in a 13 week treatment program at Harborview Medical Center with about 7 other individuals who have had a TBI.

    If you are interested in learning more about taking part in this study, please call Leslie Kempthorne, Study Coordinator, at 206.543.0219 or 1.800.246.6968 or ette@uw.edu
    [Note that we cannot ensure confidentiality via email]

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  • Amitriptyline to Prevent Post Traumatic Headache after Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
  • This study is investigating treatment of post-traumatic headache after mild traumatic brain injury (concussion). Participants will need to have experienced a headache after their recent concussion. There are several parts to this study, which include in person study visits, daily headache questions, and weekly telephone calls.

    After completing a baseline interview, participants will be randomly put into one of two groups. Group 1 will begin study medication right away, and Group 2 will wait 30 days to possibly begin medication. The study medication is called, Amitriptyline, and is a FDA approved medication for treating symptoms of depression and for the prevention of migraine headaches.

    Participants must…

    • Be within 12 weeks of their mild TBI (also known as concussion).
    • Have experienced a headache since their injury.
    • Be between the ages of 18 and 60.
    • Not be currently pregnant or planning to become pregnant during study participation.
    • Be able to come in person to Harborview Medical Center or the University of Washington.
    • Have access to a telephone for weekly telephone calls.

    For more information please contact:
    Danielle Lozier
    206.744.5196
    dlozier7@uw.edu*
    *We cannot ensure confidentiality of email communication

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  • Treatment With Sumatriptan for TBI Headache (TWIST)
  • The TWIST study is looking at whether sumatriptan is effective as treatment for headache after traumatic brain injury.  This study also involves using a headache diary to track headaches.

    Participation in the study will last for 90 days, and will involve:

    • 10 telephone calls from study staff to check on how the volunteer is doing with the medicine. These calls will last about 20 minutes.
    • 3 in-person clinic visits at the University of Washington Medical Center lasting about 2 hours each.
    • A $25 compensation for each clinic visit.

  • Participants must…
    • Have had a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in the last 3-24 months.
    • Be between the ages of 18-65
    • Have experienced post-traumatic headache.
    • Be able to come in person to the University of Washington Medical Center.
    • Have access to a telephone for check-in calls.

    For more information please contact:
    Leslie Kempthorne
    206.543.0219
    ette@uw.edu*
    *We cannot ensure confidentiality of email communication

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  • Rehabilitation Gaming Research Study to Improve Arm/Hand Function in Adults Post Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Adults who have had a traumatic brain injury sometimes have difficulty using one arm/hand. The purpose of this research study is to learn more about a new program that practices movements in the arm and hand using a computer game program. The research study can be done in the laboratory or at home. Participation in the study requires that you travel to the University of Washington nine times if you participate in the laboratory study and four times if you participate in the home study.

    You may qualify for this study if you:

    • Are between 21 -75 years of age
    • Have had a traumatic brain injury and have difficulty using one arm/hand
    • Can read, speak, and understand English

    For more information please contact Dianne Rios, OTR/L at dirios@uw.edu* or call 206.616.0383
    *We cannot ensure confidentiality of email communication

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    On Track Study

  • On Track Study
  • The On Track Study is a large, multi-site collaboration involving researchers, therapists, families, and children with a diagnosis of cerebral palsy (CP) or gross motor delays and problems with muscle tone, balance, etc. such that the child could be classified as having CP, aged 18 months through 11 years, from across Canada and the US. With funding provided by Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) we are currently recruiting for this study.

    • The purposes of the study are:

      1. To describe the changes in balance, range of motion limitations, strength, endurance, and physical activity; number and impact of health conditions; participation in self-care, recreation, and leisure activities; and to determine how these children progress in many aspects of their physical development and participation in daily life; and

      2. To relate the services received to the children’s developmental patterns.

    • Trained therapist assessors will measure the primary and secondary impairments on 5 occasions (6-months apart) over 2 years. Parents will complete questionnaires to track changes in the child’s endurance, health conditions, participation in self-care and recreation activities, and the services their child receives at the same data collection points.

    • We will create growth curves with the data from this study to be used by therapists and families. This will help therapists and parents monitor if a child is developing as expected in his or her physical development and participation. Then, therapists and families can collaborate to provide the services that are most beneficial and meaningful for each child and their family members. We will report this new and useful information to therapists and parents across North America.

      • For information regarding recruitment in the US or PCORI funding, please contact project coordinator Monica Smersh: msmersh@uw.edu
      • For information regarding recruitment in Canada or about CIHR funding please contact project coordinator Barb Galuppi: Galuppi@mcmaster.ca

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    Hand and Arm Function Study

  • Hand and Arm Function Study
  • The University of Washington is seeking volunteers to help us develop a new measure of hand and arm function. We want to learn how difficulty with hand(s) and/or arm(s) may affect your daily life. We also want to learn about the best ways to measure hand and arm function in people with certain neurological conditions. The purpose of this study is to develop a new hand and arm function measure. If our study is a good fit for you, you will be asked to be in a small group discussion and/or try some tasks using your hands and arms. We will give you $35 and parking reimbursement if you choose to participate in this session.

    We are looking for people who:

    • Are 21 years or older.
    • Have any one of the following diagnoses:
      • Stroke
      • Traumatic brain injury
      • Multiple Sclerosis
      • Parkinson disease

    If you are interested in more information, please contact:
    Namrata Grampurohit
    Phone: 206-353-6054
    E-mail: namot@uw.edu*

    *Please note: We cannot guarantee the confidentiality of any information sent by e-mail.

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    Healthy Aging with a Long-term Physical Disability

  • Project Enhance
  • Adapting Project Enhance led by Ivan Molton, PhD is an evidence-based, participant-centered motivational intervention for older adults. For Project Enhance a wellness coach, typically a nurse or social worker, works with people to improve their health and wellness.
    In older adults, research has shown that participants in Project Enhance decrease the length of hospital stays, lower their use of psychoactive drugs, alleviate symptoms of mood disorders, and develop a sense of greater self-efficacy.
    Our study will adapt Project Enhance for people aging with a long-term physical disability. We will embark on this study collaboratively and in the community with our partners at Senior Services of King County. Of note, Project Enhance was originally developed at the University of Washington at the Health Promotion Research Center.

    You may qualify for this study if you are:

    • 45 and older
    • Living in the greater Seattle area
    • Living with multiple sclerosis (MS), muscular dystrophy (MD), post-polio syndrome (PPS) or spinal cord injury (SCI)

    Your participation (6 months) would include:

    • Filling out surveys, 2 total.
    • Choosing a personal or health goal of your choice and working with a Wellness Coach to achieve it.
    • Visits with a Wellness Coach may be at your home or at a senior center or community center close to you. 
    • Connecting you to community resources to help you reach your goals. 
    • Thank you payments of $50 per survey, for a total of $100. 

    If you are interested in more information, please contact the study staff:
    Phone: 1-866-928-2114
    E-mail: agerrtc@uw.edu*

    *Please note: We cannot guarantee the confidentiality of any information sent by e-mail.

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    Featured Research Articles

    Traumatic Brain Injury

    View the latest research articles on Traumatic Brain Injury written by faculty from the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine.

    Volunteer to Participate in our Research Studies

    The Department of Rehabilitation Medicine is looking for volunteers to participate in research studies on Multiple Sclerosis & Pain Management, and Traumatic Brain Injury.

    Featured Faculty

    Mark Guthrie, PhD

    Mark Guthrie, PhD Dr. Mark Guthrie, Associate Professor and Division Head for Physical Therapy (PT), has been a member of the University of Washington faculty since 1983. Read more...

    View the archive of all Department of Rehabilitation Medicine faculty interviews

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