Welcome to RRTC Research. This section describes
the research studies that have been (and are being) conducted
RRTC: Health and Wellness. For a quick overview of each
study with status and progress to date, click the links to the
Part of the mission of the RRTC is to conduct research that is
scientifically based, participatory and applicable. In this section,
a conceptual overview of how the studies relate to each other and
together provide a broad picture of health and wellness for persons
with disabilities. Different studies address persons with disabilities
directly, health care providers, or address policies that
influence the opportunities for health and wellness for persons
with long term disabilities. Quick links below describe each study.
Barriers and Strategies Validation
The purpose of this study is to create a brief listing of common and important
barriers to routine health care access and potential strategies
to overcome them for people with disabilities. This list
will then be reviewed by a group of adults with disabilities
in order to validate its completeness. The
results of this study will be used in study R3.
Clinic Access Checklist Reliability
Study: This study will develop a checklist tool to evaluate
the physical and programmatic accessibility of outpatient health
care clinics based on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The tool will be tested to ensure that it is reliable, valid
to the U.S. Department of Justice for sufficiency review.
Health Care Access Intervention Study:
The purpose of this study is to test methods for improving routine health care access, especially for clinical preventive services, for people living with disabilities. Two strategies to improving access will be tested, one which focuses on patient education and empowerment and another which focuses on clinics and clinic staff. Improvements in access will be measured through clinician report, patient report, and medical encounter records of selected preventive services.
Validation Criteria for Health
This study will utilize a panel of health promotion and disability experts to
develop criteria for evaluating health promotion intervention
programs for people with disabilities that are acceptable to
health promotion researchers, disability advocates, and program
These criteria will be disseminated and used in a subsequent
Ratings of Health Intervention Programs:
In this study, the criteria developed by the expert panel will be used to evaluate existing health promotion programs for people with disabilities. Intervention program authors will be contacted to ascertain their interest in having their program rated and to obtain the most current information on program evaluation. Pairs of raters will independently rate elements of each program/activity. Reliability of ratings will be calculated and discrepancies resolved through discussion. The results of this project will be made available through an interactive website.
Review of Health Status Measures
Many of the most common measurements of health status (SF-36, SIP, etc.) confound
functional status and health and therefore inaccurately represent
the health status of people living with disabilities. This study
will utilize a panel of health status measurement and disability
experts to develop consensus on desired characteristics of a
health assessment tool(s) for people with disabilities. Panel
members will evaluate current measures for adequacy to assess
health status of people with disabilities (per these desired
characteristics and the criteria of the Scientific Advisory Committee
of the Medical Outcomes Trust) and provide guidance on the development
of a new tool or tools (R8).
Analysis of BRFSS HRQOL Study:
The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is an annual state-based
system of health surveys that generate information about health
risk behaviors, clinical preventive practices, and health care
access. Several questions on the BRFSS ask about Health Related
Quality of Life (HRQOL). This study will examine the performance
of the HRQOL questions among people with and without disabilities
and how their prediction by other variables may inform development
of improved health status measurement questions to assess health
and well-being of individuals with disabilities regardless of functional
Health Status Tools Development Study:
The purpose of this study is to develop and test a health status measurement tool to reliably assess the health status of individuals regardless of functional ability. The tool will also be tested to determine if it is sufficiently sensitive to detect change due to interventions. Several approaches will be used to develop and test the items used in the tool as well as validate its use with people living with disabilities.