RRTC Training and Dissemination - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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Training and Dissemination


Why is this activity needed?

Knowledge gained from this Rehabilitation Research & Training Center (RRTC) program of research will be delivered to meet targeted training needs of providers and researchers, as well as consumers, payers and policy makers.

How will this study help patients and rehabilitation stakeholders?

Disseminating information about the knowledge gained through the RRTC's research will provide key rehabilitation stakeholders with the latest information about rehabilitation outcomes and effectiveness.

What are the project objectives?

Collectively, these projects seek to:

  • Improve capacity to conduct rigorous medical rehabilitation outcomes research by providing a coordinated and advanced program of training in medical rehabilitation research that is aimed at increasing the number of qualified researchers working in the area of medical rehabilitation outcomes research
  • Develop and disseminate high-quality curricular materials on rehabilitation outcomes research
  • Mentor, guide, and supervise researchers from across the nation in developing rehabilitation research-related skills
  • Provide consultative services and on-line materials to help medical rehabilitation clinicians, researchers, and policymakers access the knowledge generated by investigators affiliated with this Center, as well as other rehabilitation researchers worldwide.

How will the project objectives be achieved?

The RRTC's training activities will be coordinated by the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Northwestern University, Washington University, and the University of Illinois-Chicago. In addition, we will work with the National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research at the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory to enhance the usability of information provided through the training and dissemination projects.

Training Projects

T1: Summer Institutes on Measuring Rehabilitation Outcomes

Summer Institute for the Researcher

This Institute will take place in 2011 and 2013 and will provide an introduction to medical rehabilitation researchers who desire to develop skills in measurement. This course will cover IRT, CAT methods, application to PROMIS including the Assessment Center (a free, online, dynamic application that allows researchers to centralize research activities), Rasch theory, instrument development, and related measurement and analysis tools.

Summer Institute for the Clinician

The Summer Institute on Measuring Rehabilitation Outcomes for the Clinician will provide an in-depth look at integrating measurement into clinical practice. Led by researchers and educators from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Washington University, and the University of Illinois-Chicago, this course will take place in 2013 and is for rehabilitation clinicians, educators, and fieldwork coordinators in the field of physical medicine and rehabilitation who desire to foster the development of skills in measuring rehabilitation outcomes.

T2: Professional Association Pre-conference Workshops

These workshops will summarize the information presented at the Summer Institute series in half-day or day-long courses for presentation at professional meetings.


A pre-conference workshop on Measuring Rehabilitation Outcomes was held at the AOTA 94th Annual Conference & Expo on April 2, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. The day-long seminar included five separate slide presentations targeted to clinicians and researchers working in rehabilitation settings. We encourage you to view these slides at your leisure.

The workshop objectives:

  • Describe the importance and benefits of using classification schemes and outcome measures to evaluate of Body Function and Body Structure, Activity, and Personal and Environmental Factors that influence Participation.
  • Evaluate, interpret, and document client goals and outcomes in clinical practice using a client-centered approach.
  • Critically evaluate measurement properties of existing outcome measures for application in clinical practice, including validity, reliability, responsiveness, and clinical utility.
  • Identify strategies to facilitate the use of outcome measures in clinical practice.
  • Increase one’s capacity to effectively utilize resources to assist with outcome measure selection, including the use of online databases to find assessment tools and interpret their measurement properties.


Allen Heinemann, PhD, ABPP (RP), FACRM, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
Carolyn Baum, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
Joy Hammel, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Susan Magasi, PhD, OTR, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL


You may also access the Outcome Measurement Teaching Modules- Student Version at the Rehabilitation Measures Database website.






T3: Clinical Outcomes Measurement Courses

This series of course modules is being developed for students, clinicians, clinical educators, and fieldwork coordinators to provide further training in regards to evaluating, selecting, and implementing outcome instrument use in clinical practice.

To learn more about using the course modules in your practice or classroom, please visit: http://www.rehabmeasures.org/rehabweb/education.aspx or contact Jillian Bateman at jbateman@ric.org

T4: Quarterly Measurement Workshops

These workshops will consist of a live discussion of measurement theory and analysis during the regularly scheduled post-doctoral fellows’ meeting at the Northwestern University’s Institute for Healthcare Studies. Topics for these workshops will include: Rasch measurement, PROMIS Assessment Center, NeuroQOL project, NIH Toolbox, and related topics.

These lectures, described below, are now available for free at any time by clicking on the links below. Archived using Adobe Connect ProTM presentation software, the lectures consist of audio from the speaker accompanied by the PowerPoint presentation.

Lecture 1: Overview of Measurement in Health, Illness, and Disability

Presented by: Allan Kozlowski, PT, PhD

Dr. Kozlowski discusses measurement concepts in healthcare. He describes the rationale for measurement in a healthcare setting, the importance of reliability and validity, and the differences between Classical Test Theory and Item Response Theory.

Lecture 2: Introduction to Contemporary Psychometrics

Presented by: Allen W. Heinemann, PhD

Dr. Heinemann gives an overview of concepts and terminology associated with item-response theory. He also discusses measurement applications, including item banks, computer adaptive testing, and short forms.

Lecture 3: Instrument Development

Presented by: Allen W. Heinemann, PhD

Dr. Heinemann discusses instrument development in healthcare measurement and the importance of test validity. Heinemann also describes an example of this process in the development of the Community Participation Indicators tool.

Lecture 4: Measurement and Rasch Analysis

Presented by: Anne Deutsch, RN, PhD, CRRN

Dr. Deutsch describes how Rasch analysis may be used to create a “ruler” for measurement using data collected from a set of test items or a set of items that use a rating scale.

Lecture 5: Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Development Methodology and Assessment Center

Presented by: Nan Rothrock, PhD

Dr. Rothrock presents shares her interest in using technology to measure patient health status. She describes the methodology behind the Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) for collecting quality information. She also presents the development of the web-based Assessment Center as a platform for capturing patient-reported outcome data.

Lecture 6: Health Measurement Instruments

Presented by: Jennifer Moore, PT, DHS, NCS

Ms. Moore lectures on the current use of standardized instruments in clinical practice. She describes characteristics of instruments that are important to the clinical setting. She also provides practical advice on accessing online databases that can be useful guides for selecting appropriate instruments.

T5: NIDRR Invited Lectureship in Outcomes Research

The NIDRR Invited Lectureships will occur twice a year. A lecturer will be invited to provide in-depth consultation on a particular measurement topic:

T6: Fellowship in rehabilitation health services research

This RRTC will provide a comprehensive, 2-year program to 2 fellows. The objectives of the fellowship are to provide high-quality training in rehabilitation-relevant health services research including state-of-the art experience in planning and conducting research on rehabilitation outcomes, develop a cadre of researchers who are capable of competing for research grants, make special efforts to reach students with disabilities and from minority backgrounds, provide a structured opportunity to participate in the full range of research-related activities including instrument development, data collection, data entry, data analysis, and publication, facilitate the production of written manuscripts for publication in the professional literature, and develop grant writing skills. Visit our fellowship page to learn more

T7: State of the Science Conference on Building Rehabilitation Research Capacity

The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) requires its grantees to conduct a State-of-the-Science (SoS) conference on its respective area of research and publish a comprehensive report on the outcomes of the conference. In so doing, we sought input from experts internal and external to the RRTC to describe recent progress in rehabilitation outcome measurement and to prioritize recommendations for future research.

The SoS Conference for this grant took place March 5–6, 2012 in Washington, D.C. It was organized around five themes: (1) Utilizing Common Data Elements in Rehabilitation Research, (2) Need for Participation and Environmental Factor Measures, (3) Need for Cognition Measures, (4) Need for Accessibility and Alternative Formats in Data Collection, and (5) Knowledge Translation issues regarding clinical applications, pre-service curriculum development, and research applications.

We invited three speakers and a discussant to participate in each track; selection criteria included a deep understanding of research, clinical, or policy issues regarding the track topic. We sought the perspectives of a rehabilitation administrator (Pamela Roberts), accreditor (Christine MacDonnell), and physical medicine and rehabilitation department chair (John Melvin) to reflect on clinical, research, and accreditation issues, to emphasize common themes and to highlight issues that emerged during discussions.

A manuscript (State of the Science Monograph) is currently under development that includes recommendations for future research that emerged from the final session. View the SoS Conference agenda.

View presentations below by clicking on the presenter's name:

Utilizing Common Data Elements in Rehabilitation Research

Need for Participation and Environmental Factor Measures

Need for Cognition Measures

Need for Accessibility and Alternative Formats in Data Collection

Knowledge Translation Issues

Dissemination Projects

Dissemination of information developed by this RRTC will use the following approaches:

What agency funded the project?

National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)

What is the duration of the project?

October 1, 2009 - September 30, 2014

Project Staff

Director of Training and Dissemination:

Linda Ehrlich-Jones, PhD, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago


Allen Heinemann, PhD, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
Richard Gershon, PhD, Northwestern University
Carolyn Baum, PhD, Washington University
Joy Hammel, PhD, University of Illinois-Chicago
Jennifer Moore, MS PT, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

Project Manager:
Jillian Bateman

Related Project Research Web Site

National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)

Contact Information

For researchers and students:
Linda Ehrlich-Jones, PhD

For members of the media: