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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.

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    Multiple Sclerosis Studies

  • no studies currently seeking volunteers
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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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    Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Studies

  • no studies currently seeking volunteers
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    Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Studies

  • 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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    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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    Healthy Aging with a Long-term Physical Disability

  • no studies currently seeking volunteers
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    Pain Management Studies

  • no studies currently seeking volunteers
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    Featured Research Articles

    Assistive Technology

    View the latest research articles on Assistive Technology 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.

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