Research In Focus: A Weekly Digest of New Research from the NIDILRR Community

Research In Focus is a weekly publication featuring reader-friendly summaries of the latest research from NIDILRR-funded projects. Each installment presents you with an overview of a recently-published NIDILRR-funded study, highlighting important findings, and discussing implications or directions for future research. This could be a starting point to learn more about the intervention, technology, or program. We hand-select the articles from our diverse library collections, aiming to broadly cover interesting research in many areas of disability, various types of intervention, and a wide range of age spectrum from early childhood to aging with and into disability. To be alerted to new articles, sign up for our weekly email newsletter News and Notes from the NIDILRR Community and Beyond! These articles are also available in Spanish.

People with serious mental illnesses (SMI) such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or other psychotic disorders may periodically experience mental health crises or emergencies. During these crises, they may be unable to make treatment decisions or express their treatment wishes. A psychiatric advance directive (PAD) is a legal document that details a person’s preferences for medical treatment during a mental health crisis. Similar to a medical advance directive or living will, a PAD may... Read this article

Date published:
2017-09-06

Stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability in the United States, according to the National Stroke Association. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain either bursts or becomes blocked. Stroke can be mild, moderate, or severe. Stroke can cause problems with movement, speech, or mental functions due to lasting brain damage. People who have had a stroke may face challenges with returning to work, independent living, or social activities after a stroke. In a recent NIDILRR-... Read this article

Date published:
2017-08-30

People with physical disabilities may need to engage in ongoing self-care in order to stay healthy. For example, people with physical disabilities may need to take medications to improve symptoms and stabilize their health. People with spina bifida (SB) or spinal cord injury (SCI) may need to check their skin regularly to detect wounds or sores before they get worse. Mobile health (mHealth) applications are smartphone apps that can help people with physical disabilities keep track of and... Read this article

Date published:
2017-08-23

A concussion is a mild brain injury that may occur after a fall or sudden impact to the head, such as during contact sports. It can cause symptoms such as headaches, confusion, or trouble concentrating, which can last for up to three months after injury. It is important for rehabilitation staff, from physicians and therapists to athletic trainers, to know how to accurately diagnose a concussion, how long it typically lasts, and what advice or therapy is appropriate to help individuals manage... Read this article

Date published:
2017-08-16

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that affects how people communicate and process information. People with ASD may have trouble expressing themselves verbally, responding to social cues, or adapting to changing situations. These challenges may make it difficult for youth with ASD to find and keep jobs in the community. Many youth with ASD may benefit from training in job-related social skills, as well as individualized on-the-job support from a job coach to help... Read this article

Date published:
2017-08-09

Over 65 million American adults act as caregivers to a person with a medical condition, according to the National Alliance for Caregiving. Caregivers are often spouses, parents, children, or friends of a person with a health condition or disability, and they may provide a great deal of unpaid assistance with activities of daily living, housing, transportation, or medical needs. People with burn injuries, spinal cord injuries (SCI), and traumatic brain injuries (TBI) may experience long-term... Read this article

Date published:
2017-08-02

People with mental health challenges have conditions like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia. Adults with mental health challenges face a variety of barriers, and are less likely to find and keep jobs, or complete college degrees, when compared to adults without disabilities. Young adults in their 20s who have mental health challenges may have difficulty meeting important milestones on the path to adulthood such as identifying their career goals or enrolling in college... Read this article

Date published:
2017-07-26

Being physically active is an important part of staying healthy. Running and walking outdoors are popular options, but people with disabilities, especially mobility disabilities, may not have full access to traditional parks and trails. Fitness facilities, such as gyms and health clubs, can offer alternative ways for people to be physically active, but those facilities may still present barriers to getting a workout since many fitness facilities may lack critical features that would enable... Read this article

Date published:
2017-07-19

A spinal cord injury (SCI) is damage anywhere along the spinal cord that often results from an accident or other trauma. People with SCI may be at risk for developing medical complications, such as pressure ulcers or urinary tract infections. According to prior studies, people with SCI who drink more alcohol may have a higher risk of these medical and other health complications than those who drink less. Identifying people with SCI who drink more alcohol, particularly those who “binge-drink... Read this article

Date published:
2017-07-12

A spinal cord injury (SCI) is lasting damage anywhere along the spinal cord as a result of accident or disease. A traumatic SCI results from a sudden trauma, such as a car accident, a fall, or a sports-related injury. After experiencing a traumatic event, some people develop a condition called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). People with PTSD may have flashbacks of the trauma, avoid situations similar to the traumatic event, or experience frequent anxiety. People with a traumatic SCI... Read this article

Date published:
2017-06-21

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