Research Strategies

The Schools' approach to research in rehabilitation science can be categorized into 7 research domains, 8 research strategies, and 3 life stages.

Learn more about each strategy below and find a list of corresponding researchers associated with each. 

Knowledge Mobilization 

Knowledge mobilization encompasses research in knowledge translation (KT) which aims to examine the processes involved in generating, disseminating, and supporting the uptake of new knowledge in different systems of care and with different stakeholder groups. KT raises knowledge users' (clinicians, policymakers, citizens) awareness of research findings and facilitates their use. Researchers at the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy undertake innovative research that engages two forms of KT: Integrated KT, where knowledge users are members of research teams and participate in many stages of the research process, and end-of-grant KT, where researchers include a plan for how they will translate their findings when the research is completed. Their contributions include syntheses of available knowledge, the study of factors influencing how knowledge is used, the design and evaluation of various KT interventions to improve practice and patient health outcomes, as well as strategies aimed at monitoring and sustaining knowledge use across a range of populations, settings and contexts related to the field of rehabilitation and health policy research.

Researchers: Sara Ahmed, Dana Anaby, Liliane Asseraf-Pasin, Patricia Belchior, Stefanie Blain-Moraes, Zachary Boychuck, Marie Brossard-Racine, André Bussières, Shaun Cleaver, Noémi Dahan-Oliel, Joyce Fung, Isabelle Gagnon, Isabelle Gélinas, Matthew Hunt, Tania Janaudis-Ferreira, Eva Kehayia, Heather Lambert, Raphael Lencucha, Mindy Levin, Annette Majnemer, Susanne Mak, Nancy Mayo, Barbara Mazer, Bernadette Nedelec, Melissa Park, Claire Perez, Cynthia Perlman, Ana Maria Rodriguez, Laurence Roy, Keiko Shikako-Thomas, Laurie Snider, Judith Soicher, Caroline Storr, Aliki Thomas, Tim Wideman

Methodological Innovations

In carrying out research related to rehabilitation, disability and wellbeing, researchers at the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy are contributing to methodological innovations. These innovations provide opportunities to advance rehabilitation science and to answer pressing research questions to improve practice and policy. Examples of methodological innovations by our researchers include the following: development of new strategies for participatory research (research conducted in partnership with stakeholder such as patients and communities), development and testing of new models to evaluate spasticity, new measures to evaluate brain integrity or integrated functioning following traumatic brain injury, and new methods to promote self-management for individuals with chronic disease.

Researchers: Sara Ahmed, Liliane Asseraf-Pasin, Patricia Belchior, Stefanie Blain-Moraes, Marie-Hélène Boudrias, Marie Brossard-Racine, André Bussières, Joyce Fung, Eva Kehayia, Mindy Levin, Nancy Mayo, Melissa Park, Ana Maria Rodriguez, Laurence Roy, Keiko Shikako-Thomas, Judith Soicher, Aliki Thomas

Participatory Research

Participatory Research (PR) is an approach in which researchers work in equitable partnerships with those affected by the research and/or those who must ultimately act on its results. With influences and origins as diverse as critical social theories and social psychology, PR goals range from fostering self-determination and social justice among affected populations to co-create and translate knowledge into actions for change to effect social action and change through systematic inquiry and education in collaboration by those most affected an issue. In implementation science, PR is a preferred approach as it integrates end-users - those who must ultimately act on or benefit from a new policy or practice, such as service providers and users - throughout the research process itself, from the identification of the research question and setting the methodology (collecting and/or analyzing or interpreting results) and implementing or acting upon the results. Thus, its underlying values align with patient-oriented and driven as well as person and community-centered research.

Researchers: Philippe Archambault, Patricia Belchior, Stefanie Blain-Moraes, Zachary Boychuck, André Bussières, Shaun Cleaver, Noémi, Dahan-Oliel, Marie-Lyne Grenier, Eva Kehayia, Anouk Lamontagne, Annette Majnemer, Melissa Park, Cynthia Perlman, Suzanne Rouleau, Laurence Roy, Keiko Shikako-Thomas, Aliki Thomas, Tim Wideman, Hiba Zafran

Promoting Healthy Living 

Promoting healthy living includes the process of enabling people to increase control over their health, and its determinants. This implies sensitizing and supporting individuals in making healthy choices and acquiring necessary life skills, while providing opportunities to achieve these objectives. It also entails creating and sustaining supportive environments and access to information. Research conducted within the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy addresses the different facets that constitute the promotion of healthy living. Some examples include the following research initiatives. First, exciting new opportunities are being developed and tested for the aging population to enhance cognitive function through specialized training. Fostering participation in community life and daily activities is at the center of both pediatric and adult research addressing the needs and experiences of individuals with visible and invisible disabilities. Community-based programs are centered on healthy lifestyle and physical activity promotion during pregnancy with the aim of enhancing women’s health and reduce risks of cardiovascular and mental diseases in mothers and their children. As well, researchers are investigating the processes of using technologies, tools, and targeted interventions, including exercise, as well as their uptake by users, steps that are important for promoting return to previous activities following acquired neurological conditions.

Researchers: Dana Anaby, Philippe Archambault, Patricia Belchior, Mariane Bertagnolli, Marie-Hélène Boudrias, Marie Brossard-Racine, Noémi Dahan-Oliel, Joyce Fung, Isabelle Gélinas, Matthew Hunt, Tania Janaudis-Ferreira, Eva Kehayia, Heather Lambert, Raphael Lencucha, Annette Majnemer, Nancy Mayo, Melissa Park, Claire Perez, Shawn Robbins, Ana Maria Rodriguez, Marc Roig, Laurence Roy, Sara Saunders, Keiko Shikako-Thomas, Laurie Snider, Judith Soicher

Social, Cultural, and Ethical Dimensions of Health

Health, and experiences of health, are shaped in important ways by social, cultural, and ethical factors. For this reason, research that closely examines the connections between these domains can make a significant contribution to better understanding key topics in rehabilitation and the health sciences more broadly. Researchers at the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy are undertaking innovative research that engages social, cultural, and ethical dimensions of health in relation to disease risks, healing relationships, structural violence, and health policy. These contributions range from the examination of how pain evaluations are influenced by the language in which they are completed; understandings of stigma and cultural safety with young adults experiencing first episode psychosis; identifying the impact of immigration and acculturation in pregnancy and women’s health; rehabilitation experiences and approaches within colonial institutions, structural poverty, and systemic oppressions; and investigations of recovery-oriented mental health policy.

Researchers: Liliane Asseraf-Pasin, Patricia Belchior, Mariane Bertagnolli, Stefanie Blain-Moraes, Shaun Cleaver, Marie-Lyne Grenier, Matthew Hunt, Eva Kehayia, Heather Lambert, Raphael Lencucha, Melissa Park, Laurence Roy, Keiko Shikako-Thomas, Hiba Zafran

Technologies for Health

Technologies for health refer to technical aids as well as advanced or innovative technologies used in rehabilitation. These can be employed in clinical practice as new modes of intervention, or to support existing interventions. Simple and complex technologies can also be used by individuals with disabilities, or by their caregivers, to facilitate function, activities, and social participation and to enhance satisfaction. Researchers in this field are interested in the development of new technologies or assistive devices, and in their evaluation, including safety, appropriateness, usability, efficacy, and effectiveness. Research in rehabilitation technology addresses all age groups and all domains of activity and participation. Examples of technology research at the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy include virtual reality for the evaluation of visual perception, specialized treadmill for balance training, robotics for upper extremity rehabilitation, wearable sensors for activity monitoring, and serious video games for motor and cognitive rehabilitation in children.

Researchers: Sara Ahmed, Philippe Archambault, Patricia Belchior, Stefanie Blain-Moraes, Marie-Eve Bolduc, Marie-Hélène Boudrias, Zachary Boychuck, Marie Brossard-Racine, Noémi Dahan-Oliel, Joyce Fung, Isabelle Gélinas, Matthew Hunt, Eva Kehayia, Anouk Lamontagne, Mindy Levin, Annette Majnemer, Nancy Mayo, Claire Perez, Keiko Shikako-Thomas, Jadranka Spahija, Aliki Thomas

Therapeutic Approaches 

Researchers at the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy investigate various therapeutic approaches, including exercise prescription performed with or without exercise machines, exercise performed with assistive technology such as robotics and virtual reality applications, computer-based interventions for social and cognitive rehabilitation, therapeutic approaches to minimize scar formation and non-invasive brain stimulation. Research in therapeutic approaches uses diverse measurement approaches including movement analysis using kinematics, kinetics and electromyography, muscle and brain imaging, micro- and macrovascular imaging, electronic instrumentation to quantify skin characteristics as well as the development of measurement tools at all levels of the International Classification of Functioning.

Researchers: Dana Anaby, Mariane Bertagnolli, Marie-Hélène Boudrias, André Bussières, Joyce Fung, Isabelle Gagnon, Isabelle Gélinas, Tania Janaudis-Ferreira, Heather Lambert, Anouk Lamontagne, Mindy Levin, Bernadette Nedelec, Richard Preuss, Tim Wideman

Underlying Mechanisms 

Gaining a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying disordered functioning is at the core of developing new therapeutic approaches across domains, spanning physical, cognitive, socio-emotional/behavioral impairments to activity limitations. Researchers at the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy are engaged in diverse research in this area, including studies to improve our knowledge of the underlying mechanisms affecting abnormal brain and child development in premature infants, factors that limit recovery from brain injury, functional limitations associated with wound healing, and research on healthy aging. Research in underlying mechanisms includes but is not limited to studies of predictive biomarkers and genes involved in disordered motor control and motor learning in children and adults with brain injury such as cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, burns, and vestibular dysfunction. As well, research in underlying mechanisms of revascularization through angiogenesis processes essential for reducing peripheral vascular resistance in cardiovascular diseases, to enhance wound healing and tissue revascularization following ischemic events, or even to promote placentation in pregnancies affected by hypertensive and heart disorders.

Researchers: Sara Ahmed, Dana Anaby, Mariane Bertagnolli, Stefanie Blain-Moraes, Marie-Eve Bolduc, Marie-Hélène Boudrias, Marie, Brossard-Racine, Noémi Dahan-Oliel, Joyce Fung, Isabelle Gélinas, Eva Kehayia, Heather Lambert, Anouk Lamontagne, Mindy Levin, Nancy Mayo, Bernadette Nedelec, Claire Perez, Richard Preuss, Shawn Robbins, Marc Roig, Laurence Roy, Sara Saunders, Laurie Snider, Judith Soicher, Jadranka Spahija, Aliki Thomas


 

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