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Faculty Research

Whitworth faculty are dedicated to preparing doctoral students for careers at the forefront of physical therapy and movement science research. Students benefit from faculty research in topics including: 

Blood Flow Restriction Training 

The focus of this research is to explore the effect of blood flow restriction with traditional manual physical therapy interventions. 

Faculty investigator: Dominic Severino, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT

  • Severino, D.J., Severino, L.A., Sibley, S. & Moore N. "The Integration of Blood Flow Restriction Strengthening and Orthopedic Manual Therapy in the Management of Lumbar Spinal Stenosis: A Case Series," poster presentation; 2022 annual meeting, American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists; San Diego, Calif.
  • Severino, D.J.,  Severino, L.A., Sibley, S. & Moore N. "The Management of Lumbar Spine Spinal Stenosis Using Orthopedic Manual Therapy and Blood Flow Restriction Strengthening Interventions: A Case Report," poster presentation; 2021 annual meeting, American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists; Cleveland, Ohio.

Clinical Reasoning

The focus of this research is to explore the development of clinical reasoning skills in both clinicians and entry-level physical therapy students.

Faculty investigator: Kevin Helgeson, PT, DHSc; Jonathan Hook, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT

  • Hook, J.C., O’Malley, B. & Shepherd, M. "Multimodal Approach to Physical Therapy Management of Meralgia Paresthetica: A Case Report," poster presentation; Combined Sections Meeting, American Physical Therapy Association; February 2022; San Antonio, Texas.
  • Helgeson, K.M. & Smith, A.R. "Developing Clinical Reasoning Skills in Entry-Level PT Students Using the ICF as a Framework," presentation; Combined Sections Meeting, American Physical Therapy Association; February 2018; New Orleans, La.

Holistic Admissions

This research looks at the Impact of a holistic admissions review process in a doctor of physical therapy program.

Faculty investigator: Carrie Hawkins, PT, DPT, Ph.D.

  • George, D., Bayliss, J., Crompton, J., Durham, A., Gallivan, S., Hawkins, C., Wright, A., Weaver, J., Berg-Carramusa, C., Both, A., English, L., Hofmeyer, E., Lee, K., McCallum, C. & Quinn, B. "Needs Assessment of Clinical Educators," manuscript; accepted by Journal of Physical Therapy Education, fall 2023.
  • Hawkins, C., Ennis, E. & Quinn, S. "Impact of Holistic Admissions Process on NPTE Outcomes," poster presentation; Education Leadership Conference, American Council of Academic Physical Therapy; October 2023; Philadelphia, Pa.

Interprofessional Education

This research investigates the value of interprofessional education within health sciences curriculum.

Faculty investigator: Paul Werhane, PT, DPT, CCS; Jonathan Hook, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT

  • Helgeson, L., Fermin, S.L., Werhane, P. & Hook, J.C. "Framing an Interprofessional Culture of Learning Across Healthcare Programs," poster presentation (accepted); Innovation Summit For Health Professions Education; June 2022; Creighton University; online. 

Interventions for Fall Prevention   

This research area focuses on determining optimal strategies for adoption and implementation of balance exercises in pre-existing community and clinic-based physical activity programs for older adults. 

Faculty investigator: Lizzie Choma, PT, DPT, GCS, Ph.D. Candidate

  • Choma, E.A., Treat-Jacobson, D.J., Keller-Ross, M.L., Wolfson, J., Martin, L. & McMahon, S.K. (2023). "Using the RE-AIM Framework to Evaluate Physical Activity-Based Fall Prevention Interventions in Older Adults With Chronic Conditions: A Systematic Review," Translational Behavioral Medicine; 13(1):42-52; doi:10.1093/tbm/ibac072. 
  • McMahon, S.K., Macheledt, K., Choma, E.A., Lewis, B.A., Guan, W., Wyman, J.F. & Rothman, A.J. (2023). "Rethinking How and When to Report Descriptions of Behavior Change Content Within Interventions: A Case Study of an Ongoing Physical Activity Trial (Ready Steady 3.0)," Translational Behavioral Medicine; doi: 10.1093/tbm/ibac092.
  • Choma, E.A., Mays, R.J., Mizner, R.L. & Santasier, A.M. (2020) "Patient Perspectives of Ankle-Foot Orthoses for Walking Ability in Peripheral Artery Disease: A Qualitative Study." Journal of Vascular Nursing; 38(3):100-107; doi:10.1016/j.jvn.2020.07.004.

Neuromuscular Plasticity

The goal of our research is to study neuromuscular plasticity and movement disorders after knee trauma.

Faculty Investigator: Dave Robbins, PT, DPT, Ph.D., OCS, FAAOMPT

  • Cobian, D.G., Robbins, D.P., Yack, H.J. & Williams, G.N. "Leg Press Power and Quadriceps Rate of Force Development Are Associated with Reduced Knee Joint Moments and Powers, Hop Performance and Patient-Based Outcomes 4 to 12 Months After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction," platform presentation; Combined Sections Meeting, American Physical Therapy Association; February 2017; San Antonio, Texas; abstract published, Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy; 47(1), A36. 
  • Robbins, D.P., Cobian, D.G., Koch, C.N., Metcalf, R.W. & Williams, G.N. "Walking and Stepping Down: A Simple and Relevant Functional Outcome Measure," poster presentation; Combined Sections Meeting, American Physical Therapy Association; February 2016; Anaheim, Calif.; abstract published, Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy; 46(1), A198. 

Neurorehabilitation

This research area focuses on evaluating the effect of conventional and novel interventions on outcomes of cognitive functions, balance control, cardiovascular and physical fitness in the young, geriatric and neurocognitively-impaired populations. 

Faculty Investigator: Ernest Ofori, PT, M.S., Ph.D.

  • Ofori, E. K., Subramaniam, S., Wang, S. & Bhatt, T. (2021). "Kinematic Analysis of Dance-Based Exergaming: A Cross-Sectional Study," Journal of Dance Medicine & Science; 25(3), 200-214.  
  • Ofori, E. K., Frimpong, E., Ademiluyi, A. & Olawale, O. A. (2019). "Ergometer Cycling Improves the Ambulatory Function and Cardiovascular Fitness of Stroke Patients: A Randomized Controlled Trial," Journal of Physical Therapy Science; 31(3), 211-216. 
  • Ofori, E. K., Subramaniam, S., Wang, S. & Bhatt, T. (2019). "Kinematic Analysis of Dance-Based Exergaming: Effect of Song Pace on Center of Mass and Joint Mobility," Journal of Physical Therapy Science; 31(9), 708-716. 
  • Ofori, E. K. (2014). "Effect of Optogenetic Stimulation on Neuroplasticity of the Embryonic Chick Motor System," Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Persistent Postural Perceptual Dizziness

This research investigates the effects of early interventions related to PPPD education, anxiety management and vestibular therapy.

Faculty Investigator: Dawn Fitzgerald, PT, DPT, NCS

  • Fitzgerald, D. "Prehabilitation to Minimize Persistent Postural Perceptual Dizziness (PPPD) Risk in Meniere’s Disease Pre- and Post-Gentamicin," poster presentation; 2022 annual conference, Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy; October 2022; Minneapolis, Minn.  

Physical & Cardiovascular Fitness & Geriatrics 

This research investigates the effects of alternative interventions on the cardiovascular system in the geriatric population.

Faculty investigator: Ernest Ofori, PT, M.S., Ph.D.

  • Somayaji, K., Frenkel, M., Tabaza, L., Visotcky, A., Ruck, T. K., Ofori, E. K., ... & Kulinski, J. (2022). "Acute Effects of Singing on Cardiovascular Biomarkers," Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine, Volume 9.
  • Kulinski, J., Ofori, E. K., Visotcky, A., Smith, A., Sparapani, R., & Fleg, J. L. (2022). "Effects of Music on the Cardiovascular System," Trends in Cardiovascular Medicine; 32(6), 390-398. 
  • Ofori, E. K., Subramaniam, S., Wang, S. & Bhatt, T. (2019). "Kinematic Analysis of Dance-Based Exergaming: Effect of Song Pace on Center of Mass and Joint Mobility." Journal of Physical Therapy Science, 31(9), 708-716. 
  • Ofori, E. K. (2020). "Dance-Based Exergaming in Older Adults: Examining Effect on Movement Kinematics and Physical Function," doctoral dissertation, University of Illinois at Chicago. 

Primary Care Provider

This research area investigates the role of a physical therapist as a primary care provider.

Faculty Investigator: Dave Robbins, PT, DPT, Ph.D., OCS, FAAOMPT

  • Robbins, D.P. & Pickens, B. (2022). "Occult Intertrochanteric Femur Fracture in a Recreational Cyclist," JOSPT Cases, Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy.
  • Thelen, M.D., Tragord, B.S., Sutlive, T.G., Robbins, D.P., Schiferl, R., Demsher, K., Hall, B., Godin, A.D. & Anstead, K. "Demonstration and Evaluation of Physical Examination Techniques Intended to Identify Proximal Femoral Bone Stress Injuries," The Medical Journal, Per 22-01/02/03, 66-73; PMID: 34940971. 
  • Reese, J.M., Fisher, S.D. & Robbins, D.P. (2012). "Exertional Rhabdomyolysis: Attrition Through Exercise, a Case Series and Review of the Literature," Journal of Special Operations Medicine; 12(3): 52-56; PMID: 23032321. 

Wearable Technology

This research area focuses on the usage of wearable technology for assessment of health outcomes in rehabilitation.

Faculty investigator: Dave Robbins, PT, DPT, Ph.D., OCS, FAAOMPT; Ernest Ofori, PT, M.S., Ph.D.

  • Robbins, D., Werhane, P., Hook, J.C. & Fermin, S.L. "Differences in Activity, Health, Sleep, Stress and Depression in Graduate and Undergraduate Health Science Students," platform presentation (accepted), Education Section at Combined Sections Meeting, American Physical Therapy Association; Boston, Mass.; February 2024.  
  • Robbins, D., Werhane, P., Hook, J.C. & Fermin, S.L. "Comparing Self-Reported Vs. Objectively-Measured Activity, Sleep, Stress, Anxiety and Depression in Undergraduate and Graduate Students," poster presentation (accepted); Education Section at Combined Sections Meeting, American Physical Therapy Association; Boston, Mass.; February 2024. 
  • Ofori, E. K., Wang, S. & Bhatt, T. (2021). "Validity of Inertial Sensors for Assessing Balance Kinematics and Mobility During Treadmill-Based Perturbation and Dance Training," Sensors, 21(9), 3065. 
  • Robbins, D.P., Hathcock, J.A., Holcomb, W.J., Overton, M. & Jacobs, A. (2020). "Feasibility of Using a Wearable Accelerometer to Detect Patterns of Gait Under Normal and Reduced Load Conditions," presentation; Combined Sections Meeting, American Physical Therapy Association; February 2020; Denver, Colo.; abstract published, Journal of Orthopadic and Sports Physical Therapy, online; 50(1): CSM81–CSM177; doi:10.2519/jospt.2020.50.1; CSM81. 
  • Robbins, D.P., Cobian, D.G., Yack, H.J. & Williams, G.N. (2017). "Low-Cost Wearable Accelerometers Detect Significant Asymmetries in Lower Extremity Mechanics After ACL Reconstruction," platform presentation; Combined Sections Meeting, American Physical Therapy Association; February 2017; San Antonio, Texas; abstract published, Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy; 47(1), A50. 
  • Robbins, D.P., Cobian, D.G., Yack, H.J. & Williams, G.N. (2017). "Measurement of Single-Leg Vertical Hop Height After ACL Reconstruction Using Wearable Accelerometers," platform presentation; Combined Sections Meeting, American Physical Therapy Association; February 2017; San Antonio, Texas; abstract published, Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy; 47(1), A50. 

Exercise Physiology 

Faculty investigator: Ernest Ofori, PT, M.S., Ph.D.

  • Frimpong, E., Ofori, E. K., Kaoje, Y. S., Ababio, E. & Dzudzor, B. (2019). "Muscle Damage and Repeated Bout Effect From High Intensity Non-Eccentric Exercises," Journal of Exercise Physiology, 22(5); online.