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Adaptation, Rehabilitation and Gerontechnology

Section Co-ordinator: Nathalie Bier

Research Interests and Objectives

The Geriatric Rehabilitation Research Section began its activities in 2000. The investigators who belong to this section come from four Quebec universities, various research centres, and many different professional disciplines.

This Section’s overall goal is to help to improve rehabilitation services for seniors by conducting research on their needs and the services offered to meet these needs, both in institutional and in home settings.

Achievements

The Section’s work to date has involved two different research projects on two very distinct topics. The first project deals with the rehabilitation needs of elderly stroke patients who live at home, and the rehabilitation services available to them. It is known as the BRAD project, from the acronym for its French name (Besoins de réadaptation des aînés à domicile), and it is a multi-centre study, taking in the region of Chaudières-Appalaches and the cities of Montreal and Sherbrooke in Quebec. To make this study possible, the Quebec Network for Research on Aging first funded the development of a robust protocol, as well as a pilot study to obtain the preliminary data essential for securing outside funding. The BRAD project then secured a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), for the years 2003 to 2006.

Once the BRAD project no longer required financial support from the Network, the Section went on to develop its second research project, on the intensity of rehabilitation treatments (known as the PIT project, from the acronym for its French name, Projet intensité des traitements). Following the same approach as for the BRAD project, the researchers began work on the PIT project in Fall 2003, first developing a protocol and establishing the technical infrastructure for the project, then conducting a pilot study in Fall 2004. A grant for this project was obtained from the CIHR in the March 2005 competition.

The PIT project is a multi-centre study that examines the components (intensity, volume, density, and frequency) of the load of interventions that three rehabilitation disciplines (occupational therapy, physiotherapy, and speech-language pathology) provide to older patients hospitalized in intensive functional rehabilitation units in three regions of Quebec (Montreal, Quebec City, and Sherbrooke). The main goal of this study is to verify whether the components of the load from these three disciplines are correlated with the clinical and administrative outcomes of geriatric rehabilitation.

Lastly, in 2005, the Geriatric Rehabilitation Section accepted an invitation from the Network to partner with the FRSQ Vision Research Network and the Institut Nazareth et Louis-Braille in a study on quality of life and social participation among older persons with vision disabilities. A pilot study is now under way to obtain the preliminary clinical and scientific data that will be essential for preparing the planned longitudinal study on the impacts of the services offered to this population. The grant application for this study will be submitted in 2007.

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