Resident Research

Physician Residents Contributing to Our Research

The physician residents continue to be actively engaged in innovative research projects. In 2019, three graduates presented their work at the annual meeting of American Spinal Injury Association, Association of Academic Physiatrists, American Congress of Rehabilitative Medicine, and Baylor University Medical Center Scholarly Day.

Kara Bunting, DO conducted a research project entitled, "Establishing an Aquatic Therapy Protocol for Patients with AIS-A/B Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)." The aims of the project were to conduct a retrospective chart review to evaluate current practices of physicians and aquatic therapists in the prescription of aquatic therapy in patients with AIS-A/B SCI and to establish a standard documentation protocol for prospective patients. She found that patients who received aquatic therapy were typically younger, had longer length of stays and were more likely to be discharged home. Dr. Bunting also helped to establish a standard documentation protocol to track aquatic therapy session data which includes pain assessment, affect and perceived exertion during therapy activity. She presented this work at the 2019 American Spinal Injury Association annual conference and at Baylor University Medical Center Scholarly Day 2019 where she was awarded "Best Quality Research Poster." Dr. Bunting completed her residency in the summer of 2019 and is now practicing as a staff PM&R physician at St. Francis Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in Tulsa, OK.

Cassandra Kaiser, DO conducted a retrospective research project entitled, "Characteristics and Outcomes of Inpatient Rehabilitation Patients Readmitted to Acute Care." The aims of the project were to determine common reasons for readmission to acute care from acute inpatient rehabilitation and identify potentially preventable diagnoses among patients who were discharged from BSW Rehab from January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017. She found the overall readmission rate was 11.7%, and predictors for readmission to acute care were race/ethnicity, Medicare insurance, days from diagnosis to admission to rehabilitation, case mix index, and comorbidities as measured by the Elixhauser Comorbidity Index. The top diagnoses for readmission were abnormal symptoms and labs, digestive issues, injuries, and circulatory issues. These findings helped to inform focused efforts to provide quality care to minimize unplanned events. Dr. Kaiser presented this work at the 2019 Association of Academic Physiatrists annual conference and at Baylor University Medical Center Scholarly Day 2019 where she was awarded "Best Quality Research Oral Presentation." Dr. Kaiser completed her residency in the summer of 2019 and is now practicing as a staff PM&R physician at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, GA.

Sabrina Young, DO conducted a cross-sectional analysis using baseline data from a research project entitled, "Health Literacy and Functional Outcomes among Patients Undergoing Inpatient Rehabilitation." The purpose of the project was to describe health literacy levels and associations for patients as they underwent inpatient rehabilitation. Health literacy levels were assessed using an objective outcome measure (FLIGHT/VIDAS) and correlated with a four question self-reported health literacy outcome measure (BRIEF). The two measures were significantly correlated (p=0.0014) indicating that the short questionnaire was an adequate assessment tool for health literacy in the inpatient rehabilitation setting. This finding is important, as health literacy affects the ability of patients with chronic disease to manage their care after discharge from inpatient rehabilitation. Dr. Young completed her residency at Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation in the summer of 2019 and is now employed as the Associate Medical Director of PM&R at Norman Regional Hospital in Norman, OK.