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Spring 2015 | Volume 10 Number 3 

This is an aerial photograph of the St. George Campus featuring University College.

Message from the Chair

Congratulations to our faculty! This Spring has seen much dedication and hard work rewarded in the form of awards and grants, both locally and internationally. Many of these research-oriented funding opportunities and honors serve to highlight the quality of research being published by our faculty. One of our strategic planning goals is to continue developing our strong research program. We are also beginning a process to facilitate research at our partner health care facilities and are listening to ideas on how we can assist that process.
I would like to welcome our new OIEPBP students! We have 27 students from such diverse places as Portugal, Brazil, Iran, and the Philippines. They have just completed their academic residency week where they are orientated to the program and get to know faculty, staff, and one another. During the next stage of their academic program they are applying their skills in clinical settings and deepening their understanding of the Canadian Healthcare System. The Department of Physical Therapy is proud to be hosting this successful program. 

Warm regards,

W. Darlene Reid, BMR (PT), PhD
Professor and Chair

WCPT Honours Dina Brooks with
International Service Award

Dina Brooks is presented with her award in Singapore.
Dina Brooks was selected by the World Confederation for Physical Therapy Executive Committee to receive a 2015 WCPT International Service Award in the area of research. This award recognizes Dina's significant contribution to physical therapy. She accepted her award at the WCPT's annual congress in Singapore on April 30th. 

Robyn Davies Receives Peter-Boyd Academy of Medicine Medical Director's Special Award

From the left: Elizabeth McLaney, IPE Director at Sunnybrook, award winners Robyn Davies and Sandy Lyeo, and Mary Anne Cooper, Director of the Peters-Boyd Academy. 
Robyn Davies has been awarded the Peters-Boyd Academy of Medicine Director's Special Award. Robyn was chosen by Director Mary Anne Cooper for her commitment and contributions to committees of which she is a member as well as for her ongoing support and guidance to the Director's office. The Director's Special Award was presented to Robyn at an Awards Ceremony on May 5, 2015.

Sandy Lyeo, a member of the Department of Physical Therapy's clinical faculty, received the Physiotherapy Teaching Award.  

Elisse Zack Award of Excellence Winner
Kelly O'Brien

Kelly O'Brien has won the 2015 Elisse Zack Award of Excellence in HIV and Rehabilitation. The Canadian Working Group on HIV and Rehabilitation (CWGHR) established this award to recognize outstanding contributions towards improving the lives of those living with HIV/AIDS. The award is given to those who have demonstrative innovative thinking to push the frontier of HIV and rehabilitation education, practice, and research.  
In addition to undertaking collaborator or interdisciplinary work, recipients of the Elisse Zack Award of Excellence promote both awareness of and access to rehabilitation programs for those with HIV/AIDS.

Kara Patterson Receives Connaught Award

Kara Patterson has received a 2014-2015 Connaught New Researcher Award as the Principal Investigator for her project entitled "It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s how you carry it: an investigation of secondary musculoskeletal complications and temporal gait asymmetry after stroke." This award includes two years of funding.

Daniela Pirraglia Nominated for Chancellor's Award

Student Liaison Officer Daniela Pirraglia was nominated by faculty, students, and fellow staff members for a 2015 Chancellor's Award in the Emerging Leader Category. In honour of her nomination, Daniela received a certificate from the Chancellor's Office.


K O'Brien, M Zobeiry, P Solomon, AM Davis, AM Bayoumi, A Tang, C Godi, and K King have received a three-year CIHR Operating Grant - HIV/AIDS CBR Program grant for their project, "Translating Exercise into the HIV Community: Evaluating a Community-Based Exercise Intervention to Improve the Health of Adults Living with HIV." 

Principal Investigators Kara Patterson and Jessica Grahn with Co-Investigators Joyce Chen and Vince DePaul were successful in the Collaborative Health Research Projects competition held by CIHR and NSERC. Their project, "The Relationship of Temporal Gait Asymmetry and Rhythm Perception and Production" received three years of funding.  


Camp PG, Reid WD, Chung F, Kirkham A, Brooks D, Goodridge D, Marchiniuk DD, Hoens AM.  Clinical Decision-Making Tool for Safe and Effective Prescription of Exercise in Acute Exacerbations of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Results From an Interdisciplinary Delphi Survey and Focus Groups.  Physical Therapy 2015 April 16 [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 25882485.
Feick E, Hamilton P, Luis M, Corbin M, Salbach NM, Torres-Moreno R, Andrysek J. A pilot study examining measures of balance and mobility in children with unilateral lower-limb amputation. Prosthetics & Orthotics International December 2014 (e-publication ahead of print). MScPT Project.

Hunter, J, Dranga, R, Van Wyk, M, Dostrovsky, J. Temporal Profile of the Thermal Grill Evoked Percept from Stimulation of Glabrous vs. Hairy Skin. Eur J Pain 2015 Feb;19(2):202-15. doi: 10.1002/ejp.538. Epub 2014 Jun 26. Link.

Hunter, J, Stinson, J, et al. (2014) A Novel Pain Interprofessional Education Strategy for Trainees: Assessing Impact on Interprofessional Competencies and Pediatric Pain Knowledge. Pain Research & Management. 2015 Jan-Feb;20(1):e12-20. Epub 2014 Aug 21.

Mayo , Bayley M, Barclay-Goddard R, Eng J, Mackay-Lyons M, Teasell R, Richards CL, Desrosiers J, Anderson S, Cameron J, Huijbregts M, Kagan A, Salbach N, Wood-Dauphinee S, Carbonneau H. Getting on with the rest of your life after stroke: A randomized trial a complex intervention aimed at enhanced life participation post-stroke. Clinical Rehabilitation 2015 (e-publication ahead of print).

Salbach NM (PA), Howe J, Brunton K, Salisbury K, Bodiam L. Partnering to increase access to community exercise programs for people with stroke, acquired brain injury or multiple sclerosis. Journal of Physical Activity and Health 2014; 11, 838-845.

Salbach NMO’Brien KBrooks D, Irvin E, Martino R, Takhar P, Chan S, Howe J. Reference values for standardized tests of walking speed and distance: A systematic review. Gait & Posture 2015; 41 (2): 341-360. 

Sibley K, Howe T, Lamb S, Lord S, Maki B, Rose D,  Scott V, Stathokostas L, Straus S, Jaglal S. Recommendations for a Core Outcome Set for Measuring Standing Balance in Adult Populations: A Consensus-Based Approach. PLoS ONE March 13, 2015, 10(3): e0120568. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0120568. Link

Sibley KM, Salbach NM. Applying knowledge translation theory to physical therapy research and practice in balance and gait assessment: A case report. Physical Therapy 2015; 95 (e-publication ahead of print). 

Solomon P, Salbach NM, O’Brien K, Worthington C, Baxter L, Blanchard G, Casey A, Chegwidden W, Dolan L, Eby S, Gervais N. Increasing capacity in rehabilitation in the management of HIV: A case-based e-mail intervention. Journal of Continuing Education and Professional Development 2015; 2(1):1-8.

Webster F, Perruccio AV, Jenkinson R, Jaglal S, Schemitsch E, Waddell JP, Venkataramanan V, Bytautas J, Davis AM. Understanding Why People Do or Do Not Engage in Activities Following Total Joint Replacement: A Longitudinal Qualitative Study. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage February 21, 2015, 30 (2015): 1-8. doi.10.1016/j.joca.2015.02.013. Link.

Wickerson L, Mathur S, Singer LG, Brooks D. Physical Activity Levels Early after Lung Transplant. Physical Therapy 2015;95:517-525.

*Wong RKY, McEwan J, Finlayson D, Chung S, Wan L, Salbach NM, Kirkwood G, Meschino C, Wright V. Reliability and validity of the Acquired Brain Injury Challenge Assessment (ABI-CA) for children and youth. Brain Injury 2014; 28(13-14):1734-1743.  *MScPT Project.

Promoting Consistency in Balance Measurement in Research and Practice:  
New Recommendations for a “Core Outcome Set” of Standing Balance Measures for Adult Populations


The ability to maintain standing balance is a complex, multifactorial skill that is essential for mobility and fall avoidance. Many interventions for improving balance have been tested, but it is difficult to synthesize results across studies because there is no gold standard measure of balance and over 60 different balance measures have been developed and used throughout the literature. What’s more, varied use of balance measures is also seen in clinical practice.
There is a need for greater consistency in standing balance measurement across studies and for individual assessments. In 2014, physical therapy researchers at the University of Toronto and Toronto Rehabilitation Institute - University Health Network received a CIHR Planning Grant to help tackle this problem. One approach to achieve a more standardized practice is to develop a core outcome set for measuring standing balance. A core outcome set (COS) is a recommended minimum set of outcomes or outcome measures for a particular health construct, condition, or population, the results of which should be reported for all trials pertaining to that issue. In all cases, COS recommendations do not imply that measurement of the construct should be restricted to the COS; rather, the purpose is to advocate that the COS forms a consistent component of measurement and it is expected that additional measures may also be used.
The objective of this project was to propose recommendations for a COS of standing balance measures for research and practice settings in adult populations. The recommendations were developed using a consensus-based approach incorporating a published scoping review on validated balance measures, literature appraisal, anonymous voting and face-to-face meetings on May 29th and 30th 2014 in Toronto, Ontario with fourteen invited experts from a range of disciplines with international recognition in balance measurement and falls prevention.
Consensus was sought over three rounds using pre-established criteria. Fifty-six validated balance measures with evidence of use in the past five years were considered for the COS. Fifteen measures were excluded in round one, and another 36 excluded in round two. In the third and final round, five measures were considered for inclusion in the standing balance COS. Of these, two measures reached consensus for recommendation. The expert panel recommended that at a minimum, either the Berg Balance Scale (BBS) [Berg et al. 1989] or Mini Balance Evaluation Systems Test (Mini BESTest) [Franchignoni et al. 2010] be used when measuring standing balance in adult populations.
Full details of the project are available in a freely-available, open-access publication. This project reflects the first attempt to make COS recommendations for the field of balance research and practice, and should be both viewed as a starting point and revisited in the future. The BBS and Mini-BESTest received the required votes because they collectively best represent the objectives of the standing balance COS. The expert panel noted that the BBS may be considered more suitable for lower functioning adults, while the Mini BESTest is a more comprehensive measure of balance.
The expert panel and researchers noted that the project was not without limitations, emphasizing that adoption of the standing balance COS does not constitute comprehensive balance assessment, and users should include additional validated measures as appropriate. Nonetheless, these recommendations represent an important first step towards greater standardization in the assessment and measurement of this critical skill and will inform balance research and clinical practice internationally. For more information, please contact Dr. Kathryn Sibley or Dr. Susan Jaglal.

PT Faculty in the News

Dina Brooks' article "Minimal Exercise Can Counteract Sedentary Lifestyle" was published in the Life section of the Star on March 30, 2015.  

Canadian Transplant Games

Sunita Mathur (CAN-RESTORE Co-Chair) and Patrick Antonio (Research Assistant) at the CAN-RESTORE booth at the launch of the Canadian Transplant Games. 
Drs. Sunita Mathur and Tania Janaudis-Ferreira were invited to participate in the launch of the Canadian Transplant Games on April 22, 2015 at Nathan Phillips Square. The Canadian Transplant Games are an Olympic style event for transplant recipients and will be held in Toronto in August 2016.

At the launch, Sunita and Tania featured CAN-RESTORE, the Canadian Network for Exercise and Rehabilitation for Solid Organ Transplant Optimal Recovery. CAN-RESTORE will be providing an educational symposium for transplant recipients to learn about exercise and physical activity so they can prepare for the Transplant Games. The symposium is being held Oct 17-18, 2015 and has been funded by the Toronto Transplant Institute.

Spring Reunion 2015

Save the date of Friday May 29th for our Alumni Reception 
from 6:00 to 8:30 pm
at Alumni Cafe, Rehabilitation Sciences Building, 500 University Avenue. 

Celebrate our achievements and network. Meet your classmates, the clinicians you have known and the winners of the Alumni Achievement Awards.

The honoured years are the classes of 4T5, 5T0, 6T0 and 6T5 and we want all of U of T PT and OT grads to come to Spring Reunion to meet them.

Register online by emailing Morgan Tilley or onsite at the event.

Cost: $15.00

Student Council Update

As always PT students have been nothing short of busy.  
Many PT students attended the OPA’s annual conference InterACTION in March at the Mariott Hotel in Ottawa. They had the pleasure of listening to different speakers talk about current research and the physiotherapy profession. Students also had the opportunity to network with other students, therapists, and leaders in the profession. A smaller group of students will be flying to Halifax in June to attend the CPA’s annual Congress as they continue to expand their professional development and knowledge.
PT Students at InterACTION
Academically, second year students have completed the first section of their Advanced Neuromuscular Physical Therapy Unit.  This winter they've been busy attending various lectures and multiple specialty weeks which have included burns, amputees, pain, and hand therapy, all while continuing to practice their clinical skills in preparation for their final Practical Skills Exam. First year students have also completed their Musculoskeletal Unit. Both groups of students are currently finishing up internships across the city and GTA where they have the opportunity to apply their clinical reasoning and skills directly in the clinical setting.
Student council also looks forward to holding elections at the end of May/beginning of June.  This enables next year’s student council body to begin preparing orientation activities for the anticipated Class of 2017.

Laura Tambosso
PT Student Council President 2014-2015

Congratulations to Denine Ellis for winning a 2015 Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Award!  

OIEPBP Class of 2015 Graduation!

On March 25, 2015 the Ontario Internationally Educated Physical Therapy Bridging (OIEPB) Program Class of 2015 celebrated their graduation with an awards ceremony and reception held at The University of Toronto Faculty Club. Family, friends, faculty, and honoured guests were in attendance to recognize the hard work of these 39 internationally educated physiotherapists in successfully completing the Comprehensive Program.

Dr. Sharon Switzer-McIntyre, OIEPB Program Director, Dr. Darlene Reid, Professor and Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy and  Dr. Allan Kaplan, Vice Chair for Research and Professor in the Department of Psychiatry all delivered wonderful speeches. We were also happy to have Ms. Fidelia Fredua-Kwarteng, from the Minister’s Office of Citizenship and Immigration on hand to deliver Minister Michael Chan’s congratulatory message in his absence.

Following the speeches, certificates and awards were presented to the deserving graduates. Then on behalf of their classmates, Class Rep, Ismail Abdelkader and Mahdi Hadidi gave their slide presentation to express their thanks and appreciation to everyone involved with the OIEPB Program. They shared how the program has impacted their lives both personally and professionally. A reception was enjoyed by all following the ceremony.

We wish everyone much success and congratulations to the graduating Class of 2015!

A Call for Research Projects! 

Department of Physical Therapy, University of Toronto
MScPT Research and Program Evaluation for Physical Therapy Practice
Deadline for Submission – Tuesday May 19th, 2015
The Department of Physical Therapy is preparing for the 2015/2016 Research Component of the MScPT Program and invites physical therapists with a Professional or Research Masters or PhD to submit a project outline and participate as research advisors to one of 19 student groups. Each group will be comprised of approximately 5 students. Research advisors will be paired with an established researcher (PhD) from the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute, referred to as the faculty advisor, who has experience with graduate student supervision.
The content of the research component of the MScPT program, entitled “Research and Program Evaluation for Physical Therapy Practice”, is amortized over three Units (Units 6, 10 and 12). In Unit 6 (September 21, 2015 – October 9, 2015), the student groups will develop the research protocol and submit the protocol for Ethics approval. The role of the research advisor is to facilitate this process with the support of the faculty advisor and a teaching assistant. Due to the short duration of Unit 6, advisors are expected to meet weekly with students and review the final ethics protocol with a quick turnaround time of 1-2 days. To enable effective communication, we recommend a maximum of three advisors (not including the faculty advisor). 

Note: We also ask that research and faculty advisors meet with student groups once in September 2015 prior to the start of Unit 6 to review study objectives and provide guidance on background literature for students to review in preparation for Unit 6.
Students will work on their projects throughout Units 8A (January 4, 2016 – April 1, 2016) and 8B (May 16, 2016 – June 10, 2016) having Mondays as protected research time. Throughout this period, advisors maintain contact with students through email, phone and meetings as the project requires. In Unit 10/12 (June 13, 2016 – July 22, 2016), the groups will analyse their data and complete a draft of a manuscript for publication and a poster. Advisors facilitate data analysis and review drafts (no more than 2 drafts) of the manuscript and the poster. Faculty advisors provide guidance and support in the analysis and write-up phase. Formal presentations and submission of the final manuscript occur at the end of Unit 10/12. 
Potential projects for the MScPT Research Component must be relevant to physical therapy and can include:
  • Chart Reviews **requires review of a sample of 10 charts to ensure that the data you wish to collect are routinely recorded in the charts and of adequate quality for chart abstraction.
  • Surveys
  • Program Evaluation
  • Pilot Studies (Quantitative or Qualitative)
  • Qualitative Studies (example: focus groups or in-depth interviews)
  • Secondary Data Analysis
  • No Literature or Systematic Reviews
  • No mixed methods – projects requiring both quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection and analysis are not feasible for the MScPT curriculum.
University of Toronto T-Space Initiative
T-Space is University of Toronto open access web space devoted to showcasing and preserving scholarly work accomplished at U of T. The Department of Physical Therapy posts the scholarly products of each MScPT research project, including abstracts, conference citations and published articles, on T-Space. This effort is to raise the profile of the research accomplishments made possible through successful collaboration among faculty, students, and the clinical community.
Online Project Submission
To submit a project:

1. Click on the following link: If the website does not open automatically, then cut and paste the URL into your Internet browser.

2.Create an account to obtain a username and password. If you created an account last year, your same username and password will still apply.

3.Once you log on, click “Submit a new project” and complete the online form. We recommend that you circulate a draft of your project description in Word with co-advisors and when ready to submit, cut and paste into the online form. You may save your project on the online form and revise at any time using the “Save” button.  When you are ready to submit the final version, click “Submit”.

4.Links to examples of a qualitative and quantitative project outline are included on the website to provide a guide to the level of detail to include in the outlines.

5.We’ve included a checklist for advisors to ensure their project outline meets the requirements for the MScPT curriculum. Click on the link in the online form to access the checklist.
We are receiving an increasing number of project outlines each year. Selection will be based on the:
  • Quality of the project description,
  • Relevance of the project to physical therapy, and
  • Feasibility of the project in relation to the timelines of the MScPT research curriculum and the research capacity of the students.
The deadline for submission of projects is Tuesday May 19, 2015. Please contact Cheryl Cott at 416-978-0301 or Kelly O’Brien at 416-978-0565 if you have questions.
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