Advanced Training on Outcomes in Rehabilitation Research

10/10/2012 to 09/30/2018
National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR)
Principal Investigator:
Dagmar Amtmann, PhD
The quality of instruments used to measure outcomes is central to well-designed clinical trials and research studies. Psychometrically sound, brief, but precise measures that are sensitive to change are required to accurately evaluate the efficacy of rehabilitation treatments. In addition, patient centered outcomes promote informed healthcare decisions by advancing high-integrity, evidence-based information that comes from research guided by patients, caregivers, and the broader health-care community. Measurement of health outcomes has migrated from the administration of static instruments to employing item banks calibrated using Item Response Theory that can be administered dynamically in a number of flexible formats. While modern psychometric methods provide opportunities for major advancements in outcomes measurement in rehabilitation, these methods are quite complex, and few rehabilitation researchers or clinicians have sufficient training or experience to apply them. Researchers with training in both rehabilitation and outcomes measurement are best positioned to develop, test, and evaluate psychometrically sound and clinically meaningful outcomes, translate research into practice, identify gaps in evidence that most affect people with disabilities, examine the prognostic information available to patients and providers, and examine behaviors, lifestyles, and choices within people’s control that may affect their health outcomes. The Advanced Training on Outcomes in Rehabilitation Research (UW-ATORR) program will attract talented researchers by providing unique opportunities for rehabilitation researchers to acquire and apply modern psychometric techniques and for researchers trained in modern psychometric theory to develop expertise in rehabilitation and physical medicine.
Study Aims
The overall goal of this project is to advance research capacity in rehabilitation research by providing researchers with training and mentoring opportunities that facilitate better outcomes measurement in rehabilitation research. UW-ATORR will provide two years of advanced training to 5-6 highly qualified post-doctoral trainees that includes (1) immersion in a mentored rehabilitation research experience, matching post-doctoral trainees with highly successful rehabilitation researchers and (2) complementary didactics (Core and Individualized) to support trainee development. Through this program, UW-ATORR post-doctoral trainees will join a cadre of pre- and post-doctoral trainees, faculty, and researchers, and become an integral part of an outstanding interdisciplinary community of rehabilitation scientists who share the ultimate goal of improving the quality of life of individuals with disabilities.