Student Research Poster Presentations showcase innovative research by Misericordia students across all disciplines.
Impact Teacher Perceptions of Distance Education as a Strategy for Formal Education During the Covid-19 Pandemic
Students cannot be successful if their basic needs are not met. Distance education led to many hurdles, especially for low-income families, including lack of access to the internet and required technology, inadequate home learning environment, and restricted human interaction. These hurdles may negatively impact teacher perceptions of distance education as a strategy for formal education.
Case Comparison Protocol: The Effects of Therapeutic Horseback Riding for Improving Balance, Core Strength, and Endurance in Children with Prader-Willi Syndrome.
Olivia Noone, Giana Russo, Hannah Kepple, and Maureen Rinehimer
Maureen Romanow Pascal, Emily Connell, Alyssa Pratti, and Kristina Russell
Background/Purpose: Neuromuscular dysfunction encompasses a wide variety of conditions that impact proper muscle functioning. One common condition resulting in neuromuscular dysfunction is a cerebrovascular accident (CVA) which can disrupt sensory, motor, visual and language systems. The resulting combination of impairments can cause limitations in activity performance and restrict participation across domains. In addition, muscle weakness is widely recognized as a major contributing factor to decline in function. Literature is showing that rehabilitation programs focusing on development of core strength with emphasis on repetition, intensity and novelty are critical for recovery of motor function. The purpose of this research was to develop a modified quadruped-based exercise program appropriate for an individual with chronic stroke that utilizes the principles of repetition, intensity and novelty. The goal of intervention was to improve core muscle strength and function across gait, endurance, and subjective assessment of quality of life.
Case Description: Patient is a 57 year old Caucasian male with an 11 year history of left middle cerebral artery CVA. Prior to initiation of the study, the patient presented with impaired endurance, abnormalities of gait and posture secondary to muscle weakness in right lower extremity, impaired right upper extremity function secondary to presence of synergy pattern. The patient has received treatment at this clinic since 2014 with interventions focused on gait and strength training as well as improving upper extremity function.
Methods: Hour-long intervention sessions were conducted twice per week for eight weeks. Sessions consisted of a warm-up, wrist mobility exercises, core and shoulder muscle activations, quadruped-based stretches and traveling movements. As the individual progressed through the program, movements began to be connected into flows, and circuit training was introduced.
Results: Data was analyzed through calculation of percent change from pre-intervention to post-intervention. Notable improvements were seen in timed crawl forwards (+41.8%), timed crawl backwards (+24.82%), left grip strength (+19.5%), 6 Minute Walk Test (+3.35%), and posture (53.9% decrease in effective head weight). Improvements were also seen throughout various parameters of gait specifically pertaining to improved weight bearing through the affected side (gait velocity, step length ratio, percent single limb support ratio, integrated pressure ratio).
Conclusion: A modified quadruped-based exercise program was an effective intervention for individuals following a CVA. Therefore, the intervention provided would be advantageous to incorporate into physical therapy practice.
Clinical Relevance: Quadruped based movement would be a beneficial intervention for a variety of diagnoses. Patient modifications, to accommodate patient impairments and limitations, should be utilized to ensure safety and ability to participate in intervention.
Effects of a Falls Prevention Program for Individuals Post-Stroke in Guyana: An International Collaboration Protocol
Kelly Saroka, Megan Shaver, Mackenzie Schanzlin, and Kristi Pearage
Background. Falls related to stroke have a negative impact on physical mobility, overall health, quality of life, and fear of falls. In Guyana, falls are accepted as a normal part of life and there is little to no research on the impact of a falls prevention program on decreasing both falls and fear of falling in the post-stroke population in this country.
Objectives. This international collaboration protocol will determine the ability of a falls prevention program to decrease falls and fear of falling in individuals post-stroke in Guyana.
Design. This is a within subjects design, with exercises based on the individuals’ walking abilities.
Setting. The study will be conducted at the Palms Rehabilitation Department in Georgetown, Guyana. Physical therapists in Guyana will perform all data collection and interventions. The data analysis will be performed at Misericordia University in Dallas, Pennsylvania by physical therapy students.
Participants. Twenty individuals who have a history of stroke and who score less than 45/50 on the Berg Balance Scale.
Intervention. The multifactorial exercise intervention program will focus on common post-stroke impairments such as static and dynamic balance and strength. These exercise interventions will be delivered by trained physical therapists 1 time a week for 8 weeks. Participants will report any falls throughout the program to the physical therapists. Participants will also be asked to perform a home exercise program (HEP) to increase frequency of exercises.
Measurements. The primary outcome measures to assess the effectiveness of the interventions will be the Berg Balance Scale, 5 Times Sit to Stand and the Short FES-I.
Limitations. The short time frame of the interventions and the frequency of sessions (once a week), as well as the participants’ ability to attend sessions due to travel limitations including cost of travel. Participant adherence to HEP between treatment sessions could also potentially impact the results of the study.
Logan Savitcheff and Coryn Ochten
Misericordia University offers over 15-degree programs and 12 entry and post-professional certificates in the College of Health Sciences. This research focuses on eight of these programs and the similarities and differences among them. Educational requirements for entry to the healthcare professions was compared in a table, with information found in each professions’ accreditation standards, as well as the Misericordia University program handbooks and program catalog. Some of the topics covered include accreditation standards, certification organizations, licensure requirements for the state of Pennsylvania, clinical/fieldwork hour requirements, and minimum degree requirements to enter the profession. Further research was conducted to determine the year of the first formal education program for each field, where it was found that Social Work was the first to have a formal education program in 1904 and Diagnostic Medical Sonography is the newest in 1985. This shows that the healthcare field is always evolving and introducing new formal education programs, and Misericordia University is continuing with this trend and preparing students for success in their future careers.
This project goes into detail describing electron beam radiation therapy and the different uses within treatment options. Electron beam radiation therapy is used for treatment of superficial lesions on the skin. Some common uses of electron beam radiation therapy are T-cell lymphoma, Mycosis fungoides lymphoma, basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers, breast cancer lumpectomy site boost, as well as non-cancerous keloids. A material used to produce accurate radiation dose is bolus, which acts as a layer of human tissue. This material is used for uneven areas of the body. Another important material used in electron beam radiation therapy is Cerrobend. Cerrobend alloys are used to produce precise cutouts to block beams from targeting good surrounding tissue. New 3D printed cutouts have been developed, which cuts toxic materials, reduced manual labor, and improves reproduction of the field shape. The plethora of different uses electron beam radiation therapy provides demonstrates how much science has evolved and the power radiation therapy has on saving lives.
HDR Cylinder Treatment for Endometrial Cancer
Dr. Gina Capitano, Ed.D., R.T. (R)
Michael Niggli B.S., R.T. (R) (T)
Dale and Frances Hughes Cancer Center
Brachytherapy is a type of treatment in which radioactive material is place inside one’s body to treat cancer. High Dose Rate (HDR) Cylinder Treatment is an invasive type of brachytherapy that is commonly used to treat endometrial cancer. This treatment aims to reduce the risk of local recurrence of cancer by first placing a cylindrical applicator inside the patient’s vaginal canal. An Iridium-192 radioactive source is placed inside of the applicator at specific times and locations using a remote afterloading brachytherapy system. This device administers the high levels of radiation inside the patient’s vaginal canal by being directed from the remote afterloader, through a connecting catheter, and then led inside of the cylinder applicator. The radioisotope source that travels through the catheter is precisely delivered to the tumor, or tumors, of interest. Once completely delivered, the sources are retracted back into the remote afterloader. Overall, this procedure is very safe and effective in treating and reducing malignant tumors for women with endometrial cancer. This clinical presentation explores the nature of HDR Cylinder Treatment, with emphasis on this procedure’s side effects and interventions.
Increasing Oral Reading Fluency Rate of Middle School Students with Learning Disabilities Through Cooperative Learning
This study highlights the importance of focusing on student motivation and engagement to encourage an optimistic school and future education viewpoint. Student interest can be maintained by promoting student choice in their reading materials to align with individual interests and increase comprehension retention. The long-term implications of reading difficulties can affect individuals after middle school by lessening their chances of earning a high school diploma, leading to decreased annual income and increased reliance on government assistance throughout their lifetime.
Clinical Effectiveness of an Aquatic Exercise Program on Those with Visual Impairments: A Protocol Study
Clare Winton, Kalie Ertwine, Marlena Ostrowski, and Maureen Rinehimer
BACKGROUND/PURPOSE: Visual impairment impacts an individual’s ability to participate in certain activities, like exercise. Often, individuals with visual impairment have difficulty maintaining an active lifestyle, possibly due to potential harm without assistance. Research on the use of aquatic therapy as a form of exercise in those with visual impairment is lacking. The purpose of this study is to determine if this population can tolerate and benefit from an aquatic exercise program. Additionally, this study serves to determine effects of aquatic exercise on cardiovascular fitness, functional strength, and overall quality of life in individuals with visual impairment.
METHOD(S): This is a quasi-experimental study evaluating participants with visual impairment aged 30-80 years, recruited from Northeast Sight Services in Exeter, PA. Up to 20 participants will be guided by physical therapy students and a primary researcher through a biweekly, eight-week aquatic therapy program at the Misericordia University Anderson Center Pool. This study will utilize a pretest/posttest design to collect outcome measures. These include the 6-Minute Walk Test, 30 Second Chair Stand Test, Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion, the Modified Borg Dyspnea Scale, and the SF-36.
DISCUSSION: If this program is tolerated in this population, the results could provide rehabilitation specialists an opportunity to promote health through aquatic programs for those with visual impairment. Further, if aquatic exercise is shown to be effective in improving lower extremity strength, cardiovascular endurance, and quality of life in participants, it will suggest aquatic exercise is a feasible intervention to be used with this population.
Keywords: aquatic therapy, visual impairment, blindness, hydrotherapy, quality of life
This project explains the two most common positions to treat breast cancer: prone and supine. Radiation therapy, breast cancer, complications of radiation therapy to the breast, and the new set-up for prone positioning called Crawl Couch are also discussed on the poster. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women in the United States. Men can also develop breast cancer, but it is less common. Supine is performed utilizing deep inspiration breath hold and the prone is completed using free breathing. Prone and supine are the two positions used but some researchers found a better way to treat in the prone position. Prone is healthier than supine due to decreasing the dose to the heart and lungs. The Crawl Couch is better than the standard prone position due to there being a more precise treatment and more comfortable to the patient. There needs to be more research on the dosimetry aspect of comparing these three setups for patients when they receive breast cancer treatment.