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Kessler Foundation scientist Jeanne Zanca, Ph.

image: Jeanne Zanca, MPT, PhD, is Chair of the Foundation’s Institutional Review Board and Deputy Director of the Spinal Cord Injury Research Center.
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Credit: Kessler Foundation

Eastern Hanover, NJ. September 14, 2022. Kessler Foundation scientist Jeanne Zanca, MPT, PhD, has received funding to help facilitate rehabilitation clinician adoption of effective treatments through improved research reporting. Dr. Zanca is Chair of the Foundation’s Institutional Review Board and Deputy Director of the Center for Spinal Cord Injury Research. His study is titled “Facilitating Rehabilitation Clinician Adoption of PCOR/CER Results Through Improved Research Reporting”. This is the Foundation’s first prize awarded by the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), an independent, not-for-profit organization that funds comparative effectiveness research that provides patients, their caregivers, and clinicians with the evidence needed to make more informed health and healthcare decisions.

“Inadequate research reporting is a major barrier to uptake of patient-centered outcomes research/comparative effectiveness research (PCOR/CER) findings by rehabilitation clinicians,” said the Dr Zanka. Currently, rehabilitation treatments are often described in relation to the limitations treated, or the number of hours or days of service, without documenting what this service actually entails. Additionally, research publications often do not describe treatments in a way that allows for their easy uptake in practice.

The Rehabilitation Treatment Specification System (RTSS), developed with funding from PCORI and the National Institute for Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), is a framework that provides terminology and procedures to help researchers clearly define, categorize, and measure the clinician’s actions or selections (“active ingredients”) believed to improve function so that other clinicians can implement these ingredients in practice.

“Our past efforts to engage stakeholders demonstrate both enthusiasm for RTSS and a need for training materials, implementation tools and support from RTSS experts to facilitate its use,” said Dr. Zanka. “This project will engage frontline clinicians, health profession educators, rehabilitation researchers and journal editors/reviewers to develop a consensus-based plan to create support that will enable research to be reported.” based on the RTSS and will facilitate the adoption by clinicians of PCOR/CER research results. ,” she explained. The project will be coordinated by the Kessler Foundation and conducted in collaboration with the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) Rehabilitation Treatment Specifications Networking Group.

Funding: Patient-Centred Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) EASCS-24311.

About the Kessler Foundation
The Kessler Foundation, a leading disability nonprofit, is a world leader in rehabilitation research that aims to improve cognition, mobility and long-term outcomes – including employment – for people with neurological disorders caused by diseases and brain damage. and the spinal cord. The Kessler Foundation is the national leader in funding innovative programs that expand employment opportunities for people with disabilities. For more information, visit

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