Previous Research Projects

Muscular Demands Associated with Walking on a Treadmill with Partial Body Weight Support

Funding Agency: Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Resource Center (Principal Investigator: J.M. Burnfield, Ph.D., P.T.)

Project Description: The primary aim of this study is to systematically examine the influence of walking speed on stride characteristics, muscular demands and perceived exertion in persons participated in partial body weight support treadmill training therapy following a recent stroke (< 1 month).

Current Research

Development of a Reliable Sonographic Method of Quantifying Tendon and Ligament Structure

Funding Agency: The Layman Award, University of Nebraska - Lincoln (Principal Investigator: G. Bashford, Ph.D., P.E.; Co-Principal Investigators: J.M. Burnfield, Ph.D., P.T., K. Kulig, Ph.D., P.T.)

Project Description: The goals of this research include: 1) developing a reliable sonographic method to assess tendon and ligament structure; 2) validating this method using images acquired from tendons (Achilles, Tibialis Posterior) and the Patellar Ligament in persons with varying activity levels (wheelchair bound, ambulatory and runners); and 3) differentiating between tenalgic (pain in tendon) and non-tenalgic tissues.

Current Research

Comparison of Gait Kinematics and Muscle Activation during Overground Gait, Treadmill Walking, and Elliptical Training in Individuals with Multiple Sclerosis

Funding Agency: Health Future Foundation Faculty Development Grant, Creighton University (Principal Investigator: C. Goulet, Ph.D., P.T.; Madonna Site Principal Investigator: J.M. Burnfield, Ph.D., P.T.)

The specific aims of this study are 1) to identify the biomechanical and physiological demands of exercise on an elliptical trainer and 2) to compare the demands to those encountered during overground and treadmill walking for persons with multiple sclerosis. Adults with multiple sclerosis who are able to walk as well as adults without neurologic or orthopaedic conditions that would interfere with their walking ability are participating in this study.

Current Research

Plantar Pressure Variations when Exercising on Commercially Available Cardiovascular Equipment in Persons with Diabetes

Funding Sources: Madonna Auxiliary and the Gifford Swenson Estate (Principal Investigator: J.M. Burnfield, Ph.D., P.T.)

Project Description: The purpose of this line of research is to better understand how pressures on the bottom of the feet vary during exercise on different types of cardiovascular exercise equipment. Special pressure mapping insoles quantify the pressures experienced between the foot and the shoe insole during exercise.

Current Research

Monitoring Physical Activity using the BodyMedia Sensewear2 Device

Project Description: Identification of physical activities is important in the promotion of exercise for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It is also valuable to the clinical profession for improving rehabilitation monitoring. The purpose of this study is to devise an algorithm that uses signals recorded from a single biaxial accelerometer in a commercially available body monitoring device to discern between three activity classes: 1) overground or treadmill running; 2) wheelchair propulsion; and 3) eight other common activities (e.g., walking overground and on a treadmill negotiating stairs, exercising on a stairclimber and reaching activities).

Current Research

Establishing Levels of Upper Extremity Functional Ability for Instrumental Activities of Daily Living

Project Description: This study is exploring the recovery of arm function following a stroke with a specific emphasis on determining relationships between measures recorded on standard clinical assessment tools and the ability to use the arm in Madonna's simulated "real life" environment called Independence Square.

Current Research

  • The Nebraska Concussion Study at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Funding Agencies: U. S. Department of Education; State of Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Regulation and Licensure Medical Services/Trauma Program; Cline, Williams Wright, Johnson & Oldfather, LLP (Principal Investigator-Lori Terryberry-Spohr, Ph.D., ABPP-CN)

    Project Description: The purpose of this study is to assess the utility of neurocognitive tools in improving the prevention, detection, and monitoring of concussive events in high school athletes. Researchers work collaboratively with school professionals including athletic trainers, coaches, and school nurses as well as healthcare professionals to implement the use of baseline testing protocols and concussion monitoring utilizing neurocognitive measures. Other projects have included the development of educational tools for distribution within area school districts and working with Lincoln Public Schools on the development of a screening tool for use by school nurses and staff in the school/playground setting.

Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital
5401 South St.
Lincoln, NE 68506
Phone: (402) 413-3000
Toll-Free: (800) 676-5448