Kessler Foundation scientist Jane Zanka, Ph.D.

Image: Jane Zanka, MPT, PhD, is chair of the institution’s Institutional Review Board and associate director of the Spinal Cord Injury Research Center.
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Credit: Kessler Foundation

East Hanover, NJ. September 14, 2022. The Kessler Foundation World Jane Zanka, MPT, Ph.D., Received funding to help facilitate rehabilitation clinicians’ uptake of effective treatments by improving research reporting. Dr. Zanka is Chairman of the Institutional Review Board of the Foundation and Assistant Director Spinal Cord Injury Research Center. Her study is titled, “Facilitating Rehabilitation Physicians to Benefit from PCOR/CER Results through Improved Research Reporting.” This is the foundation’s first award from Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)And the An independent, nonprofit organization that funds comparative effectiveness research, which provides patients, caregivers, and clinicians with the evidence needed to make informed decisions about health and health care.

Dr Zanka emphasized that “inadequate research reporting is a major barrier to uptake of patient-centered outcome research/comparative efficacy research (PCOR/CER) findings by rehabilitation clinicians.” Currently, rehabilitation therapies are often prescribed in relation to the limitations being treated, or the number of hours or days of service, without documenting what the service actually entails. In addition, research publications often do not describe treatments in ways that would easily allow their adoption in practice.

The Rehabilitation Treatment Specification System (RTSS), developed with funding from PCORI and the National Institute on Disability, Independent Life and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), is a framework that provides terms and procedures to help researchers identify, categorize, and measure a clinician’s actions or choices (“active ingredients”) that are believed to They improve performance so that other clinicians can apply these ingredients in practice.

“Our previous efforts to engage stakeholders demonstrate both the enthusiasm for RTSS and the need for training materials, implementation tools, and support from RTSS experts to facilitate its use,” said Dr. Zanka. “This project will engage frontline clinicians, health professions educators, rehabilitation researchers, and journal editors/reviewers to develop a consensus-based plan to create support that will enable RTSS-based research reporting and facilitate clinician uptake of PCOR/CER research findings,” she explained. Kessler and will be implemented in cooperation with the Rehabilitation Treatment Specification Network Group of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine.

Funding: Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) EASCS-24311.

About the Kessler Foundation
The Kessler Foundation, a major disability nonprofit organization, is a global leader in rehabilitation research that seeks to improve cognition, mobility, and long-term outcomes — including employment — for people with neurological disabilities caused by brain and spinal cord disease and injury. The Kessler Foundation leads the nation in funding innovative programs that expand employment opportunities for people with disabilities. For more information visit

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