EXCEED THE SPACE PROVIDED. The overall goal of this patient-oriented research career development award is to prepare the candidate to perform quantitative research as an independent investigator in the field of vestibular rehabilitation. The candidate has background as a clinical physical therapist and academician. She has prepared herself over the last few years to transition from a clinician to a clinician scientist. The candidate intends to use this award to receive focused coursework and research training related to persons at risk for falling and those with vestibular dysfunction. The candidate intends to augment her education in physical therapy and motor learning/control with coursework in three core areas: 1) the psychology of persons with anxiety/panic disorders, 2) research design, especially the use of randomized clinical trials, and 3) augment her knowledge of virtual reality, the special senses (including vestibular physiology and anatomy), and optic flow. Dr. Joseph Furman, Dr. Rolf Jacob, and Dr. Mark Redfern will mentor the candidate's research development. With their guidance, the candidate will reeeive intensive training in postural control, vestibular anatomy and physiology, panic/anxiety, and research methods related to persons with vestibular disorders. The primary objectives of this research are to increase the understanding of how virtual reality affects postural control in persons with vestibular disorders, to compare virtual reality therapy to conventional physical therapy, and to determine if virtual reality scenes used in a virtual reality cave can be effectively adapted for use with head mounted devices for application in rehabilitation. The proposed research will examine postural sway, anxiety self-report, and gain/clinical balance measures following exposure to virtual reality (VR) scenes. The data derived from the above three goals will help direct a randomized clinical trial that will assist in determining if virtual reality is an effective method of intervention with persons with vestibular dysfunction. PERFORMANCE SITE ========================================Section End===========================================

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23)
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Study Section
Communication Disorders Review Committee (CDRC)
Program Officer
Sklare, Dan
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University of Pittsburgh
Other Health Professions
Schools of Allied Health Profes
United States
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Alahmari, Khalid A; Sparto, Patrick J; Marchetti, Gregory F et al. (2014) Comparison of virtual reality based therapy with customized vestibular physical therapy for the treatment of vestibular disorders. IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehabil Eng 22:389-99
Whitney, Susan L; Sparto, Patrick J; Cook, James R et al. (2013) Symptoms elicited in persons with vestibular dysfunction while performing gaze movements in optic flow environments. J Vestib Res 23:51-60
Ward, Bryan K; Mohammed, Maha T; Brach, Jennifer S et al. (2010) Physical performance and a test of gaze stabilization in older adults. Otol Neurotol 31:168-72
Mohammad, Maha T; Whitney, Susan L; Sparto, Patrick J et al. (2010) Perceptual and motor inhibition in individuals with vestibular disorders. J Neurol Phys Ther 34:76-81
Whitney, Susan L; Marchetti, Gregory F; Pritcher, Miranda et al. (2009) Gaze stabilization and gait performance in vestibular dysfunction. Gait Posture 29:194-8
Pritcher, Miranda R; Whitney, Susan L; Marchetti, Gregory F et al. (2008) The influence of age and vestibular disorders on gaze stabilization: a pilot study. Otol Neurotol 29:982-8
Marchetti, Gregory F; Whitney, Susan L; Blatt, Philip J et al. (2008) Temporal and spatial characteristics of gait during performance of the Dynamic Gait Index in people with and people without balance or vestibular disorders. Phys Ther 88:640-51
Whitney, Susan L; Marchetti, Gregory F; Morris, Laura O et al. (2007) The reliability and validity of the Four Square Step Test for people with balance deficits secondary to a vestibular disorder. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 88:99-104
Meretta, Bridget M; Whitney, Susan L; Marchetti, Gregory F et al. (2006) The five times sit to stand test: responsiveness to change and concurrent validity in adults undergoing vestibular rehabilitation. J Vestib Res 16:233-43
Whitney, Susan L; Marchetti, Gregory F; Schade, Annika I (2006) The relationship between falls history and computerized dynamic posturography in persons with balance and vestibular disorders. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 87:402-7

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