Current Research

All Current Research Projects

  • Building an Evidence Base for Weight Loss Strategies among those with Chronic SCI

    Funding Agency: National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR)

    2018-2021

    Grant # 90IFRE0022

    $199,999 (2018-2019) | $198,288 (2019-2020) | $197,771 (2020-2021)

    Principle Investigator: Katherine Froehlich-Grobe, PhD

    The project goal is to improve the health and function of people who have experienced a spinal cord injury (SCI) by demonstrating the efficacy of a multi-component weight loss intervention that promotes healthy physical activity and eating behaviors. The objectives are to (1) develop a multi-component weight loss intervention for people with SCI and assess the (2) usability of specific weight loss strategies (portion controlled/prepacked food, enhanced self-monitoring and the GLB SCI, developed by further adapting the GLB AIM) and (3) efficacy of these various strategies to address the unique barriers faced by people with SCI.

    Contact: Amber Merfeld, MPH-PAPH | [email protected]

    Learn More About Participating in This Study

  • Efficacy of an Evidence-Based Lifestyle Intervention for People Following Stroke

    Funding Agency: National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR)

    2018-2021

    Grant # 90IFRE0021

    $198,868 (2018-2019) | $199,636 (2019-2020) | $197,191 (2020-2021)

    Principle Investigator: Simon Driver, PhD

    Purpose: The project goal is to improve the health and function of people who have experienced a cerebrovascular accident (CVA) by demonstrating the efficacy of a weight loss intervention that promotes healthy physical activity and eating behaviors. The objectives are to (1) modify an existing evidence-based weight loss intervention for the general population to meet the unique needs of people post CVA and assess the (2) feasibility of delivering and (3) efficacy of the modified intervention.

    Contact: Evan Elizabeth McShan, MS, CCRC | [email protected]

    Learn More About Participating in This Study

  • Impact of Contextual Factors on Nutrition and Weight Gain over 12 Months after Spinal Cord Injury

    Funding Agency: Craig H. Neilsen Foundation

    2018-2020

    Grant # 541948

    $100,000/year

    Principle Investigator: Katherine Froehlich-Grobe, PhD

    Purpose: To examine environmental and personal factors that affect weight over the first year after injury during which many aspects of a person's life are changing as they adapt to accommodate functional impairments, establish new routines, and make their home accessible. Over a 2 year trial, individuals will be enrolled while they are patients at our rehabilitation hospital. Surveys will be given to each participant over a 12 month span of time to measure changes in their nutritional intake, environments, psychosocial variables, energy requirements, and metabolic syndrome risk factors.

    Contact: Katherine Froehlich-Grobe, PhD | [email protected]

  • North Texas Traumatic Brain Injury Model System

    Funding Agency: National Institute of Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research

    2017-2022

    Grant # 90DPB0013-01-00

    $459,000/year

    Principle Investigator: Simon Driver, PhD

    Purpose: The objectives are to: (1) provide comprehensive clinical care and rehabilitation to individuals with TBI; (2) assess the long-term outcomes of individuals with TBI (3) test the efficacy of an evidence-based weight-loss intervention for individuals post TBI (site-specific project); (4) assess the feasibility and efficacy of problem-solving training for care partners of individuals with TBI (module project; (5) disseminate findings to stakeholders.

    Contact: Cynthia Dunklin | [email protected]

    Learn More About the North Texas TBI Model System

  • Improving Transition from Acute to Post-Acute Care Following Traumatic Brain Injury

    Funding Agency: Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute

    2017-2022

    Contract # PCS-1604-35115 | ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT03422276

    $340,000/year

    Primary Ivestigators: Simon Driver, Ph.D. (Lead Center: University of Washington, Jeanne Hoffman, Ph.D.)

    Purpose: To examine how improving the transition from the hospital to outpatient care can improve the lives of people with moderate to severe TBI. In this study, patients with TBI who are discharged from inpatient rehabilitation at one of six national TBI Model Systems sites will be randomized to: (1) Standardized Discharge Care (SDC) or (2) SDC plus a telecare program called Optimized Transition Care (OTC). The project team will compare functioning and quality of life at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months after hospital discharge in these two groups.

    Contact: Anne Woolsey | [email protected]

  • Comparison of Sleep Apnea Assessment Strategies to Maximize TBI Rehabilitation Participation and Outcome (C-SAS)

    Funding Agency: Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute

    2016-2019

    Contract # 1511-33005 | ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT03033901

    $98,266/year

    Primary Investigator: Marie Dahdah, Ph.D. (Lead Center: Tampa VA, Risa Nakase-Richardson, Ph.D.)

    Purpose: (1) For persons with TBI admitted for inpatient rehabilitation, determine comparative effectiveness of 2 American Academy of Sleep Medicine endorsed screening tools to identify those at high risk of sleep apnea as diagnosed through Level 1 polysomnography.

    (2) For persons with TBI admitted for inpatient rehabilitation, determine the diagnostic accuracy of Level 3 Polysomnography (using Level 1 Polysomnography as the criterion standard) in determining presence of sleep apnea.

    Contact: Amber Merfeld | [email protected] | 214.820.5843

    Learn More About Participating in This Study

  • Project WOWii: Developing and Testing a Web-Based Intervention to Promote Exercise Among Those With Spinal Cord Injury

    Funding Agency: National Institute of Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research

    2016 - 2019

    Grant # 90IF0091-01-00

    $199,983/year

    Primary Investigator: Katherine Froehlich-Grobe, PhD

    Purpose: Adopting a physically active lifestyle is a promising approach for improving the health and function of individuals living with spinal cord injury. People with SCI are at high risk incurring an array of chronic health problems - hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease - for which physical activity can substantially reduce risk. Yet, people living with SCI have higher rates of inactivity than the general population and other disability groups. A significant gap exists regarding evidence supporting strategies to effectively promote physical activity among people with SCI. This proposed study intends to address this gap by examining the usability, feasibility, and effectiveness of a technology-based intervention (WOWii) in promoting exercise and improved fitness for those with SCI, by using community-based participatory research to refine and enhance an existing evidence-based approach developed by the principal investigator.

    Contact: Katherine Froehlich-Grobe | [email protected]

    Learn More About Participating in This Study

  • Group Lifestyle Balance Adapted for Impaired Mobility (GLB-AIM): Translating the GLB to Promote Healthy Weight in People with Mobility Disability (Impairment)

    Funding Agency: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    2015-2017

    Grant #5U01DD001007 sub award #16-3046

    $200,000/year

    Primary Investigator: Katherine Froehlich-Grobe, Ph.D.

    Purpose:To examine the usability, feasibility, and effectiveness of adapting an existing weight loss program for people with mobility impairment. Year 1 included assembling an advisory board and conducting community based participatory research to revise and adapt the original Diabetes Prevention Program’s (DPP) Group Lifestyle Balance (GLB) intervention. In Years 2-3 of this study, participants that had mobility impairment (e.g. spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, stroke, amputation) for at least 12 months were randomized into an intervention or 6-month wait list control group. Both groups received the same adapted lifestyle intervention, Group Lifestyle Balance: Adapted for Impaired Mobility (GLB AIM), for 12 months. Study staff collected data on attendance, self-monitoring of food and physical activity, and physiological changes during the intervention for both groups.

    Contact: Katherine Froehlich-Grobe | [email protected]

  • Pauline and Austin Neuhoff Infant Feeding Research and Education Program

    Funding Agency:Baylor Scott and White Healthcare Foundation

    2017-2020

    Grant # n/a

    $803,599.60/ over 3 years

    Primary Investigators:Jenny Reynolds, Sandra Carroll, Chrysty Sturdivant

    Purpose of grant:To create a unique innovative program that will create and disseminate research and education in the area of infant feeding. More specifically, the program will include national/globaltraining programsand continuing education coursesfor professionals (including RN, MD, PT/OT/SLP feedingtherapists)working in the area of infant feeding. Training will be offered globally to therapists on FEES, anewdiagnostic assessment for infants in the NICU.Research topics will spanthe area of FEES in the NICU, breastfeeding, viscosity and thickening agents utilized in infant feeding, etc. Free parent education classes on infant feeding will be offeredto NICU, Newborn nursery, and post NICU graduates. Innovative therapeutic modalities will be implemented into the inpatient NICU. This program will also includeadvocacy for awareness to the state level (HHSC) about the efficacy of this procedure, FEES in theinfant population.

    Contact: Jenny Reynolds | [email protected]

  • Technology to Improve Rehabilitation Outcomes in People With TBI and SCI

    Funding Agency: Baylor Scott and White Health Foundation

    2017-2019

    Primary Investigators: Simon Driver, Ph.D.; Katherine Froehlich-Grobe, Ph.D.; Seema Sikka, MD; Randi Dubiel, DO., Rita Hamilton, DO

    $150,000

    Purpose: To improve rehabilitation outcomes through novel technology, including exoskeleton for gait recovery, functional electrical stimulation for fitness, actigraphy to measure quality of sleep and physical activity, resting metabolic rate to measure caloric consumption and better understand energy balance, and mobile apps to track and improve health.

    Contact: Simon J. Driver | [email protected]