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Students studying human anatomy in a PT lab

School of Physical Therapy Research

Husson's Physical Therapy department is strongly committed to fostering the scholarship of both faculty members and students within the program. All full-time faculty members are actively engaged in original research leading to the dissemination of new knowledge. Together, the faculty have over 80 peer-reviewed publications and over 150 published abstracts. Students in the professional phase of the PT program have a unique opportunity to assist faculty members in research projects. The Physical Therapy program believes that for students to be able to function as evidence-based practitioners, they must understand the research process and that there is no better way to do this than to be involved in original research projects. Students are involved in all phases of the research process including designing the project, collecting and analyzing the data, and disseminating the findings of the research through presentations and publications. Many graduates of Husson's Physical Therapy program have been involved in national presentations and have published in PT-related journals as a result of their involvement in research at Husson.

Husson has a physical therapy lab dedicated to faculty and student research. The lab contains state-of-the-art equipment for the assessment of human performance. This equipment includes: clinical-grade treadmill, body weight support system, 6D force platform, isokinetic testing machine, portable metabolic cart, 10 channel EMG system, electrogoniometers, two ergometers, and multiple force transducers.

Below is a summary of Physical Therapy faculty members current research interests along with recent publications and presentations.

Stephanie LaPrino, PT, DPT
Macauley, K., LaPrino, S., and Brudvig, T. Perceptions of Physical Therapy Students on their Psychomotor Examinations: a Qualitative Study. Medical Science Educator, 2022.

Steinbarger, K., LaPrino, S. “Organic emergence of the IPEC competencies in a combined physical and occupational therapist student asynchronous discussion board”. Poster Presentation at APTA Combined Sections Meeting, January 2019.

Wayne Scott, Ph.D.
Selected Scholarship

  • Adams C, Scott WB, Basile J, Hughes L, Leigh J, Schiller A, Walton J. Electrically-elicited quadriceps muscle torque: Comparison of three waveforms, burst-modulated biphasic square-wave pulsed current and two different burst-modulated alternating currents. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2018;48(3):217-224.
  • Wayne Scott, Cheryl Adams, Jason Fisher, Stephanie Fisher, Kayla Jones & Brian Mathieu (2019): Electrically elicited quadriceps muscle torque: Comparison at three knee angles, Physiotherapy Theory and Practice, DOI: 10.1080/09593985.2019.1639867
  • Wayne Scott, Cheryl Adams,Kolby Arnold, Courtney Doyon, Benjamin Holmes, Benjamin McGinnis, Gregory Pike, Richard Sukiennik (2022) Comparison of electrically elicited quadriceps torque: Vectra Genisys® clinical stimulator versus the Kneehab™ XP garment stimulator. Accepted for publication in Journal of Clinical Electrophysiology and Wound Management.
  • Scott WB, Adams C, Cyr S, Hanscom B, Hill K, Lawson J, Ziegenbein C. Electrically-elicited muscle torque: Russian stimulation versus optimized monophasic square wave pulses. In Review JOSPT
  • Scott W, Adams C, Cross C, Danie K, Deabay T, West S. Electrically-elicited muscle torque: Russian stimulation versus monophasic square wave pulses. Presented at the American Physical Therapy Association: Combined Sections Meeting February 2014, Las Vegas, NV. 
  • Poster Presentation: Scott WB, Jandreau J, Johnston C, Papsadora M, Papsadora T, Salotto R. Long pulse durations and electrically-elicited muscle torque. American Physical Therapy Association: Combined Sections Meeting, February 2014.
  • Scott WB, Flora K, Kitchin BJ, Sitarski AM, Vance JB. Neuromuscular electrical stimulation pulse duration and maximum tolerated muscle torque.Physiother Theory Pract. 2014;30(4):276-81.
  • Scott WB, Causey JB, Marshall TL. Comparison of maximum tolerated muscle torques produced by 2 pulse durations. Phys Ther. 2009;89:851-57.

Ben Sidaway B.Sc., M.A., M.S., Ph.D., P.T.

Ben has an extensive background in both applied and basic research in motor control, motor learning, and biomechanics. His current research focuses on the use of motor control and learning principles in treating clinical populations. In some of his most recent research, he has examined ways in which to improve gait, balance, and skill learning in older adults and people with Parkinson's disease.

Recent Publications
Sidaway, B., et al., (2022) The identification of fall risk through tests of mediolateral stability during gait. Experimental Gerontology, 163, 1-16.

Sidaway, B., Aaroe, A., Albert, M., Brasier, K., Desrosiers, G., Keith, M., Laniewski, A., Knowles, J., Morell, C., Prada, J., & Stuart, J. (2018). Visual detection of affordances for aperture negotiation in people with Parkinson disease. Neuropsychologia, 20, 59–64.

Recent Presentations
Sidaway, B. Gait variability in the assessment and tracking of fall risk in older adults. Presented at the Annual NASPSPA conference, Aloha, HI, May 2022. Published abstract: Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, Vol. 44 (Suppl), 2022.

Sidaway, B., Bennet, J., Pare, S, McGibney, S., Downing, K., Rome, J., & Dimonte, R. Can walking the plank identify older adults at risk of falling? Presented at the Annual NASPSPA virtual (Vancouver) conference, June 2020. Published abstract: Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, Vol. 42 (Suppl), 2020.

Sidaway, B. Assessing falls risk in older adults through tests of mediolateral stability during gait. Platform presentation at the APTA’s Combined Sections Meeting, Denver, CO, February 2020.

Sidaway, B. Kinetic feedback can impede the ability to reduce impact force during landing. Presented at the APTA’s Combined Sections Meeting, New Orleans, LA, February 2018.

Hossain, T, Noghani, M., Sidaway, B.,  & Hejrati, B. (2023).  Investigating the efficacy of a tactile feedback system to increase the gait speed of older adults. Human Movement Science, 90, 103103.

Recent Grant Activity
Interlimb Neural Coupling to Enhance Gait Rehabilitation With Dr. Babak Hejrati, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maine, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Disability and Rehabilitation Engineering (DARE)

A Wearable Haptic Feedback System for Home-based Gait Training for Older Adults
With Dr. Babak Hejrati, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maine
R15: NIH/NIA (National Institute on Aging)

Can beam walking improve dynamic postural control in older adults?
Grant from Husson Research Fund Committee.

Sondra Siegel P.T., Ph.D. 
Sondra's research interests are focused on the examination of treatment techniques for the patients with neurological lesions including the efficacy of body weight support in improving gait in patients with spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries.  

Selected Scholarship

  • Siegel S., Dunphe S, Gerrish T, Haggerty D, Marean C, McCullagh M, Stout B.  A comparison of two pain control methods following total knee arthroplasty: Exparel injection and Marcaine infusion. Accepted for presentation at Combined Section of the APTA, Indianapolis, Indiana, Feb 2015. Also presented at Husson University Research and Scholarship Day, April 2014
  • Siegel S, Butterfield C, Ireland K, Marceau A, Worcester R. Influence of the Foot-  up ankle brace on gait parameters and stair climbing in people with foot drop. Combined Sections Meeting of the APTA, Las Vegas, Feb, 2014. Also presented at Husson University Research & Scholarship Day, April 2013
  • Siegel S, Chaney J, Christopher K, Nicknair A, Perkins K, Pillsbury L.  The use of a harness system for balance training in elderly fallers, Combined Sections Meeting of the APTA, Chicago, Feb 2012. Also presented at Husson University Research & Scholarship Day, April 2011
  • Siegel SG, (2010) Book Review of Management of Spinal Cord Injuries: A Guide   for Physiotherapists. Churchill Livingstone, 2008, in Journal of Neurological Physical Therapy, 34:50-51
  • Siegel, S. Impact of a single problem-based learning course on problem-solving,   and attitudes toward self-directed and lifelong learning. Platform presentation for American Physical Therapy Association meeting, San Antonio, June 2008. 

Kimberly Steinbarger P.T., M.H.S.
Selected Scholarship

  • Morren, K., Steinbarger, K., Rodrigue, C., Piccirillo, K., Liberatore, M., McDonald, A. Student perspectives on the content of Physical Therapist Student social media posts. Research and Scholarship Day 2015, Husson University, Bangor, ME, April 2015.
  • Morren, K., Steinbarger, K.,  Ellis, A., Harrison, J., Courtemanche, M., Weeks, R.,Brissenden, A. Clinical Instructor perspectives on the content of Physical Therapist Student social media posts. Platform presentation 2015 APTA Combined Sections Meeting, Indianapolis, IN, February 2015.
  • Morren, K., Steinbarger, K., Sylvain, L., Dickey, E., Buck, C., Woodman, A. Physical therapy clinical instructors: Perspective on the use of social media and interactions with students. Poster presentation 2013 APTA Combined Sections meeting, Las Vegas, NV, February 2013
  • Morren, K., Steinbarger, K. The effectiveness of a brief social media and e-professionalism educational session for physical therapy students. Poster presentation 2013 APTA Combined Sections meeting, Las Vegas, NV, February 2013 
  • Morren, K., Steinbarger, K., Greeley E., Dempsey, C., Kaplan, S., Reusch, S. Social media policy in physical therapist education programs. Poster presentation, Research and Scholarship Day 2012, Husson University, Bangor, ME, April 19, 2012.