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Community Engagement for Disability and Aging Research (CEDAR) Midwest

Spring 2022

CEDAR Midwest is a Disability and Rehabilitation Research Project funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research. This project is exploring the participation needs of people aging with a physical disability and how community organizations can best meet those needs.

Project Updates

´╗┐Project 1: Community-Based Research Network

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The Missouri Aging and Disability Research Network (MADRN) Spring 2022 meeting was held on May 17. Instead of the usual meeting format, MADRN members took part in a focus group to discuss fall prevention programming for community-based organizations.

Members brainstormed what a new evidence-based program might look like, including structure, delivery formats (e.g., telehealth, in-person, hybrid), and possible funding and referral sources.

We look forward to exploring these ideas further as we seek to provide essential community-based fall prevention programming for people aging with long-term physical disabilities.

Upcoming dates:

August 9: Summer 2022 MADRN meeting

Project 2: Longitudinal Cohort Study

We are continuing to examine the data from our three-year longitudinal cohort study (Project 2). We developed an infographic based on a presentation from CEDAR Midwest researchers Margaret Campbell and Szu-Wei Chen at the Winter 2022 MADRN meeting.

The presentation and infographic describe the diversity of disability pathways for middle-aged adults, specifically looking at how age of disability onset and primary cause of disability relate to social contexts, health, personal service use and barriers to participation. Click on Page 1, below, to view the entire infographic.


Our most recent analysis looked at common symptoms experienced by people aging with disabilities (pain, fatigue and depression) and examined how those symptoms associate with social participation for study respondents. We found that, in addition to certain sociodemographic and health factors, the symptoms pain, fatigue and depression play a substantial role in social participation outcomes for people aging with disability. Read the full paper in Healthcare

Project 3: Adapting an Evidence-Based Intervention

Project 3 is complete. The goal of this project was to develop an intervention to promote self-management skills and remove barriers to participation for people aging with long-term physical disabilities. The resulting intervention, Removing Environmental Barriers to Independent Living (REBIL) is now being tested among people aging with disabilities (Project 4).


Project 4: Testing the Efficacy of the REBIL Intervention

Project 4 is a randomized waitlist-control study of REBIL, the intervention developed in Project 3. The trial is currently in process. The remaining few participants are being consented and enrolled, and we are continuing to transition control participants into the treatment condition.

What We've Been Up To...

NARRTC Conference

Every year, researchers who receive funding from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) are invited to share their work at the annual NARRTC Conference. This year, CEDAR Midwest team member Szu-Wei Chen of Washington University attended the conference and presented a poster on the characteristics of participants in our longitudinal cohort study.


OT Scholarship Day

Washington University in St. Louis held its 14th Annual OT Scholarship Day on April 29, where students in the Program in Occupational Therapy had the opportunity to present their research to classmates, alumni, faculty and staff.

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Washington University Program in O´╗┐ccupational Therapy student Megan Cheng presenting her poster at OT Scholarship Day 

Megan Cheng, an OTD student in CEDAR Midwest PI Susy Stark's lab, presented a poster describing her scoping review of participation research in middle-aged adults with physical disabilities.

Rachel Kiserow, Alicia Mullings and Megan Smith of PI Kerri Morgan's lab also presented a poster: they discussed their exploration of qualitative data on physical activity from our longitudinal cohort study of people aging with disability.

What's Coming

OT Summit

This year, CEDAR Midwest researcher Rachel Heeb is attending the 2022 OT Summit in Madison, Wisconsin. The OT summit is an annual conference for occupational therapy scientists to meet to "advance occupational therapy, occupational science, and improve quality of life." Rachel will present a poster on her qualitative analysis of environmental factors and community participation in our longitudinal cohort study.

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For technical assistance with any part of this project, including information, resources and data, please call 

314-289-4270 or email us at cedarmidwest@paraquad.org.

Find out more at cedarmidwest.org.

The contents of this newsletter were developed under a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant number 90DPCCP00001-01-00). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this newsletter do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL or HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.

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