Current Studies

The collaboration between Sheltering Arms Institute and VCU Health provides opportunities to lead and be part of all breakthroughs of rehabilitation. Currently, researchers are working in several areas of rehabilitation including:

Vocational Rehabilitation 
Focuses on workforce readiness, employer practices and transitioning young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Rehabilitation Engineering
Develops and tests advanced non-invasive and implanted technologies to improve body and brain function and everyday activities.

Physical Function and Health
Develops and tests new rehabilitation intervention strategies such as physical rehab, pain and virtual reality to improve functional abilities, health and activities.

Participation and Adaptation
Tests applied interventions for people with acquired disabilities and their family members, in areas such as cognitive and behavioral rehab, adaptation and community re-entry.

Personalized Rehabilitation
Conducts research on individuals’ abilities, biomarkers, decision-making and social circumstances to develop personalized treatment approaches. This team also has a goal of obtaining funding to support post-doctoral trainees and clinical trials.

Digital Health
Conducts studies on using health information technology, telehealth, mobile health and wearable devices to generate healthcare data that improves outcomes.

The Clinical Science Department

This department is founded on the Sheltering Arms Institute value of the significance of discovery to continually advance medical knowledge. Our goal is to reduce the seventeen year gap in health care of translating reliable and valid scientific evidence to clinical practice. Our dedication to restoring the patient’s possibilities through a knowledge to action process also situates us with a unique opportunity and responsibility to inform researchers and study participants of future studies to conduct.

The results are a continuous insight into how we achieve ideal outcomes and an understanding of questions which still must be answered. Our clinical science vision is unique in the field of inpatient rehabilitation. Sheltering Arms Institute culture, organizational structure and even our physical construction have been intentionally designed to support this unique vision.

The Clinical Science Department will implement the best care tools such as technology, facilitating knowledge translation, measuring clinical outcomes and addressing barriers to best practices. Gaps in knowledge or practice will be addressed with internal improvement or research processes, while continuously focusing on improvement of patient outcomes as an end-goal.

Physical Therapy Quality Improvement Projects or Clinical Trials

Several projects are underway such as:

  • Extra Functional Electrical Stimulation Cycling Practice during Inpatient Rehabilitation
  • Utilizing a Systematic Application of Rehab Technology in an Inpatient Rehabilitation Setting Leads to Increased Repetition and Improved Outcomes
  • Evaluating the Indego Exoskeleton as a Gait Rehabilitation Tool for Individuals with Stroke
  • Whole-body vibration as a priming tool in patients with acute stroke and its effects on gait function