Physical therapy research and scholarship take many forms at the University of Rhode Island, and students are involved at all levels. Empirical research on such topics as the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems, Workers’ Compensation, professionalism, DPT education, and international issues takes place in the modern facilities and with the faculty experts needed to develop effective and engaged clinical scholars. Students work collaboratively in teams, directed by faculty, participating in a project spanning four semesters. Many of these projects are presented at national meetings.
Some of our current projects include:
- Kinematic and kinetic analysis of gait using custom vs over the counter (OTC) ankle foot orthoses
- Change in muscle stiffness and H-Reflex caused by circumferential pressure
- Effect of manipulation and exercise on cervicothoracic posture
- Effect of triggerpoint dry needling on triggerpont reactivity in the upper trapezius muscle
- Collaboration with the World Confederation for Physical Therapy to describe international student and practitioners with disabilities
- Exploration of social, occupational and medical factors associated with patients seen through workers’ compensation
- Physical therapists’ and DPT students’ perceptions of sexual boundaries in clinical practice
- Empathy in DPT students and its relationship with gender, age, and clinical interests
- Effects of aquatic therapy on balance for individuals with Parkinson’s Disease
- Student perceived confidence pre and post physical therapy education
- The effect of joint mobilizations and chronic pain on spinal reflexes, pain threshold and tolerances
Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program Partnership
The Physical Therapy department partners with the University of Rhode Island Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program (INP), which is composed of university faculty from six colleges and 12 departments who conduct neuroscience research. Physical Therapy participates with the INP in the areas of neuromuscular rehabilitation and applied neuroscience. Students interested in acquiring an advanced academic degree (MS, PhD), are interested in conducting research in this area and who are not currently matriculating in another university program are encouraged to apply to the INP.