Training & Dissemination |CROR| - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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Training and Dissemination


Why is this activity needed?

Knowledge gained from the Rehabilitation Research and 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?

These training, dissemination and technical assistance projects serve as information resources to providers, people with disabilities, family members, payers, policy makers and researchers through a carefully crafted set of conferences, public education programs, in-service training programs and related activities.

How will the project objectives be achieved?

The RRTC's training activities will be coordinated by Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago's (RIC) Academy. 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: Assessing the effectiveness of post-acute care services is designed as a pre-conference workshop to be scheduled in conjunction with a national health services research and health policy conference.
  • T2: New approaches to assessing community participation are designed as a 2-day conference for consumers, providers, policymakers and researchers. Attendees will learn about the methods used to develop the new community participation instrument.
  • T3: Improving Efficiency in Rehabilitation Outcome Measurement is designed as a pre-conference workshop for providers, payers and researchers. Attendees will learn about measurement innovations (IRT, CAT) and technology (telephonic data collection) that can be applied in post-acute care settings.
  • T4: Developing Quality Indicator Materials for Consumers. This project will be co-directed by Christine MacDonnell, Managing Director of the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabiliation Facilities (CARF).
  • T5: State-of-the-science conference on measuring outcomes and effectiveness of post-acute care service delivery. 

The “State of the Science Symposium on Post-Acute Rehabilitation: Setting a Research Agenda and Developing an Evidence Base for Practice and Public Policy ” was well attended during its two-day run on February 12-13, 2007 at the Hyatt Regency in Crystal City, Virginia. “Setting a Research Agenda and Developing an Evidence Base for Practice and Public Policy” was the symposium theme. The meeting was attended by over 270 representatives from policy, consumer, provider and payer organizations including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, federal rehabilitation research agencies, rehabilitation hospitals, professional associations, and others.

The aims were to develop an agenda for research that will support an evidence base for post-acute care rehabilitation, including issues related to measurement and research design, access to post-acute care rehabilitation services, organization of rehabilitation services, and outcomes attained for beneficiaries of Medicare and other insurers. The program was co-sponsored by several professional and provider organizations. Keynote speakers included former Senator Robert Dole, Laurence Wilson, Director of Medicare’s Chronic Care Policy Group, and Steven Tingus, Director of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research and Chair of the Interagency Committee on Disability Research. Undergoing peer review are papers from plenary speakers, authors of state-of-the science summaries of relevant literature, and a synthesis of recommendations for future research. We will be sending an executive summary of the symposium recommendations to leading rehabilitation journals for dissemination.

  • T6: Planning, conducting and funding rehabilitation research will provide in-service training to providers and new researchers on proposal development, budget development, human subjects and funding agency requirements.

To support this objective, the RIC Academy developed a course titled "Planning, Conducting and Funding Rehabilitation Research".  This 2-day course provided an overview of issues involved in developing a research project for rehabilitation professionals who are new to research. Continuing education credits are available. Topics include how to develop research questions, research design and methodology possibilities, measurement issues and statistics for clinical research, funding sources and ethical concerns when working with patients. This course is intended for for Physiatrists, Residents, Fellows, Nurses and Allied Health Professionals.  This course can be taken online through RIC's Ecadmey for continuing education units .

  • T7: Fellowship in rehabilitation health services research will enhance the post-doctoral training in health services research already underway by providing a comprehensive, 2-year program to two fellows. It will be coordinated with the training activities at Northwestern University's Institute for Health Services Research and Policy Studies and the Center for Biomedical Communication.
  • T8: Using rehabilitation outcomes to improve practice and effect systems change will create accessible, web-based materials that feature "best practice" information guides and problem-based learning and applied case studies. These are intended for use by consumers, family members, disability organizations, service providers, policy makers and educators.  It is directed by Joy Hammel, Ph.D. 

Dissemination Projects

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

  • D1: Information to select a post-acute care program
  • D2: Center website on rehabilitation measurement, outcomes and policy
  • D3: Web seminars
  • D4: Monograph entitled "Measuring rehabilitation outcomes and effectiveness"
  • D5: Journal articles in peer-reviewed publications.

What agency funded the project?

National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)

What is the duration of the project?

December 1, 2004 - November 30, 2009

Project Staff

Principal Investigator:

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


Jennifer Bogner, Ph.D.
C.A. Brooks, Ph.D.
John Corrigan, Ph.D.
Anne Deutsch, Ph.D.
Elizabeth Durkin, Ph.D., Northwestern University
Richard Gershon, Ph.D., Evanston Northwestern Healthcare
Jin-Shei Lai, Ph.D.
Trudy Mallinson, Ph.D., Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
John Miller, Ph.D., Northwestern University
Jeff Oberlin, MS, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
Gale Whotenick, Ph.D.
Michael Wolf, Ph.D.

Related Project Research Web Site

National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)

Contact Information

For researchers and students
Allen Heinemann, Ph.D.

For members of the media