Collaborative Research Projects

  • COMIT: Training programs to improve outcomes for individuals with spinal cord injury

After a spinal cord injury, individuals often experience limitations in their ability to participate in daily activities and in the community and a decrease in quality of life. The purpose of this research study is to determine the effect of different training programs on outcomes in persons with spinal cord injury. We will conduct a randomized controlled trial to see which programs have the greatest impact on quality of life and participation in individual with spinal cord injury. The training programs we have developed will vary in length and content.

Lead Center: University of Pittsburgh Model Center on Spinal Cord Injury

Participating Centers:
Midwest Regional Spinal Cord Injury Care System
Northern New Jersey Spinal Cord Injury System
South Florida Spinal Cord Injury Model System

Wheelchair Skills Training Program 
Wheelchair Maintenance Training Program

  • Translating Transfer Training into Practice

Mastering the skills to perform transfers independently is a key milestone of functional rehabilitation because transfers are essential for daily living, performed on average 15-20 times per day, ranked among the most strenuous tasks of daily living, and believed to be a major contributor in the development of pain and injury at the shoulders. Unfortunately, time in rehab is becoming more limited for wheelchair users and access to training is often restricted by transportation and access to knowledgeable clinicians. The web based training materials we are evaluating in this study may be an excellent low cost alternative with broad accessibility to provide individuals with training in this key area. We are currently seeking wheelchair users to provide us feedback on an alpha version of our training program.

This study is a collaboration between the University of Pittsburgh Model Spinal Cord Injury System and the American Institutes for Research and funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), grant number 900P0078.

To get more information about this study please contact Lynn Worobey at 412-822-3674 or