Ongoing Research Studies

As part of a research-intensive university, the USC Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy is always conducting a number of research studies to further strength the science undergirding our profession. Would you like to be part of defining the future of physical therapy by participating in a research study? Read below for opportunities to do just that.

 

Stroke Initiative for Gait Evaluation (STRIDE)

IRB No. HS-19-00430
Currently Recruiting Participants

About

Eighty-five percent of survivors of stroke have remaining walking impairments. Here, we want to measure how walking changes in individuals in the early stages of surviving a stroke (up to a year afterward). This information will allow us to identify how individuals recover or how they develop movement compensations during walking. We will use motion capture, measures of muscle activation, measures of walking energetics and forces generated by the legs during walking to characterize movement as people post-stroke walk on a treadmill.

Contact

Natalia Sánchez, PhD
(323) 442-0189
sanc232@usc.edu

More information

Want to help advance the science of stroke research? Click here to sign up to participate in stroke studies at USC.


Optimization Principles in Hemiparetic Gait

IRB No. HS-18-00533
Currently Recruiting Participants

About

The purpose of this study is to understand how people control walking and balance. We are looking for healthy older adults who are interested in joining the study. Participants will walk on a treadmill while using an interactive display that will help them modify their walking pattern. We will determine how these modifications influence oxygen consumption during walking and measures of balance.

Contact

Cathy Broderick
cbroderick@pt.usc.edu

More information


Predicting Ipsilesional Motor Deficits in Stroke and Dynamic Dominance Model: Virtual Reality and Manipulation Training (VRMT) of the Non-Paretic Arm in Chronic Stroke Survivors

IRB No. HS-18-00802
Currently Recruiting Participants

About

For severe stroke patients, non-paretic arm deficits can substantially limit the speed and efficacy of functional activities. Unfortunately, clinical rehabilitation has yet to address non-paretic arm deficits. Our study directly addresses these shortcomings in order to provide a model for understanding how to incorporate non-paretic arm motor training in clinical rehabilitation. We have created an intervention to address these deficits using a Virtual Reality and Manipulation Training (VRMT) protocol. Through our partnership with Penn State, we hope to determine if the VRMT protocol will produce improvements in non-paretic arm movement that can be generalized to functional activities and independence. Our ultimate goal is to determine whether non-paretic arm remediation should be incorporated in rehabilitation programs, addressing each arm in severely paretic stroke patients.

Contact

Carolee Winstein, PT, PhD
(323) 442-2903
winstein@pt.usc.edu

Lauri Bishop, PT, PhD
(323) 442-1006
lauri.bishop@pt.usc.edu


The Optimization of Spinal Manual Therapy for Shoulder Pain

IRB No. HS-19-00148
Currently Recruiting Participants

About

We are conducting a research study looking at spinal manual therapy for the treatment of shoulder pain at the University of Southern California (USC). This study is funded by the Charles D. and Mary A. Bauer Foundation, and our goal is to study how spinal manual therapy affects shoulder function and brain activity in individuals with shoulder pain. This study involves a brief in-person screening visit (30 minutes or less) to determine if you are eligible for spinal manipulation treatment, and one testing visit. Both will take place on the Health Sciences Campus (HSC) of USC, where you will be offered free parking, and an image of your brain. Compensation is available.

Contact

Clinical Biomechanics Orthopedic and Sports Outcomes Research
(323) 224-5032
COORLab@pt.usc.edu


Biomechanical Metrics to Improve Performance and Reduce Elbow Injuries in Baseball

IRB No. HS-19-00177
Currently Recruiting Participants

About

Our study goal is to identify the modifiable physical factors that can influence the elbow torque-ball velocity relationship in baseball pitchers. We are using elbow varus torque as an indicator of elbow injury risk. We are conducting this study at USC and multiple other Division 1 schools in Southern Calif. and Oregon. We are looking to add other Division 1 baseball teams to assess their pitchers. This study is funded by the PAC-12 Student-Athlete Health and Well Being Grant. This study involves 2 testing sessions: an 80-90 minute session to assess physical factors such as strength, motion, neuromuscular control of the legs, arms and trunk; and a 2- a 10 minute bullpen session where 10-15 pitches will be recorded. Both will take place at the practice site/campus of the participating team.

Contact

If you are interested in getting more information and would like to see if you/your team qualifies, please contact:

Nick Lobb
(323) 544-5726
lobb@pt.usc.edu

Lori Michener, PhD
(323) 544-5726
lmichene@pt.usc.edu

More Information


COVID-19 Survey for Pregnant and New Moms

IRB No. HS-20-00267
Currently Recruiting Participants

About

We are reaching out to pregnant women and new moms of children under 6 months that may have interest in sharing their feelings and experiences related to COVID-19. Our 20-minute survey covers prenatal, perinatal, and postnatal experiences, COVID-19-related exposure and symptoms, financial considerations, emotional considerations and social support. Your thoughts and point of view can help medical teams provide better maternal and infant care during a pandemic.

If you are interested, please visit our consent and survey page.

Contact

Judy Zhou
judyzhou@usc.edu


Infant-Robot Interaction

IRB No. HS-14-00911
Not Currently Recruiting Participants (until after shelter in place restrictions are lifted)

About

We are investigating whether infants can learn from a robot. The robot will respond every time the infant moves his or her leg in a certain way. We will determine whether infants 1.) do not learn the task or 2.) learn the task (and how). We will 1.) compare movement behavior of learners and non-learners, 2.) compare movement behavior of infants with typical development (6 to 8 months of age) and infants born preterm (less than 32 weeks who are 6 to 8 months of corrected age).

At each visit, a researcher will measure your infant’s weight, length and motor milestone development. We will place small movement sensors on your infant’s arms and legs. We will record video while your child observes our robot talking and moving. This will take about an hour.

You will receive payment as well as your infant’s weight, length, motor milestone development measurements and photos

Contact

Weiyang Deng, PT, MS
(626) 818-2843
weiyangd@usc.edu

More Information