R3: Developing Environmental Factor Measures for Persons with Stroke, SCI, and TBI - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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R3: Developing Environmental Factor Measures for Persons with Stroke, SCI, and TBI


Why is this study needed?

The need to account for personal preferences and environmental influences on participation is recognized but not adequately addressed by participation measures.  The goal of this project is to develop, test and evaluate measures of environmental factors and their influence on participation for persons with stroke, SCI, and TBI.

How will this study help patients and rehabilitation stakeholders?

A validated set of environmental factor instruments will allow us to determine to what extent they predict social health and participation for people with long term disabilities.

What are the project objectives?

  • Obective 1:  Develop item banks of environmental barriers and facilitators.
  • Objective 2:  Evaluate promising new environmental factor instruments.
  • Objective 3:  Evaluate alternative methods of computer-assisted testing administration.

How will the project objectives be achieved?

After an analysis of environmental factor constructs from qualitative data takes place, item banks of environmental barriers and facilitators will be developed.  Following item generation, cognitive interviews with community participants and stakeholders will ensure comprehension of items and will assist with revising item banks as needed.  Barriers and facilitators item banks will be pilot tested before collecting environmental barriers and facilitators and societal enfranchisement items on 200 persons with a stroke, 200 persons with a SCI, and 200 persons with a TBI.

Project updates:

Click here for the presentation given at the 2014 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine meeting as a product of the R3 research

During the first three years, we have written items in all domains, pilot tested the items, and are validating revised items with a sample of 600 adults:

In the Economic/ Financial Quality of Life item bank sample items include:

  •  I have had services cut because I could not pay my bills.
  •  I have skipped taking my medication(s) because I couldn't pay for them.

What agency funded the project?

National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)

NIDDR Grant Number: H133B090024

What is the duration of the project?

October 1, 2009 - September 30, 2014

Project Staff

Principal Investigator:

Allen Heinemann, Ph.D., Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

Co-Principal Investigators:

David Gray, Ph.D., Washington University

David Tulsky, Ph.D., Kessler Foundation Research Center

Elizabeth Hahn, Ph.D., Northwestern University

Sophia Garcia, Ph.D., Northwestern University

Jin-Shei Lai, Ph.D., Northwestern University

Joy Hammel, Ph.D., University of Illinois-Chicago

Project Manager:

Sara Jerousek



Related Project Research Web Sites

National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)
National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC)

Contact Information

For researchers and students
Allen Heinemann, Ph.D.

For members of the media