CEDAR Midwest logo
Community Engagement for Disability and Aging Research (CEDAR)
Winter 2020/2021
CEDAR Midwest is a Disability and Rehabilitation Research Project funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research. This research 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

Our network of aging- and disability-focused organizations and researchers meets regularly to share research and resources. Our most recent meeting was February 8, where we discussed findings from our longitudinal cohort survey and our supplemental COVID survey.

In November, Chris Sorensen from Washington University's Becker Medical Library presented a workshop on the data collection and management system REDCap to network members. Organizations can use REDCap to collect data to help inform program and service development. See the "What We've Been Up To" section below for a link to the webinar!

Project 2: Longitudinal Cohort Study

To explore issues related to health and participation for people aging with long-term physical disabilities, we are conducting a three-year longitudinal cohort study of people aged 45-65 who live in the community and have had a physical disability for at least five years. We are in the third year of the study and are currently contacting participants to complete the three-year follow-up survey.

As we continue to collect surveys for Year 3, we have begun to analyze the data from the first two years of the study. The infographic below depicts some of the demographic characteristics of our cohort from Year 1. We are now analyzing the health and participation data from the first two years of the survey.
Infographic displaying demographic data for our cohort. Total number of participants: 475. Most frequent health conditions: musculoskeletal, neurological, immunological. Average age: 56.8. Average number of years with disability: 19.1. Race/ethnicity: 305 White, 135 Black, 10 Hispanic/Latino, 25 other. Annual income: 309 make $10,009 or more, 166 make $10,008 or less. Employment: 286 on disability leave, 87 have paid employment, 49 retired/not seeking work, 14% seeking work. Sources of income: 312 with SSDI, 115 with paid employment, 61 with personal retirement savings, 52 on work-related disability, 42 get assistance from family or friends, 32 have SSI, 14 get veterans’ benefits, and 6 get unemployment insurance.
Infographic depicting sociodemographic information from Year 1 of our longitudinal cohort study

Project 3: Developing and Pilot Testing an Intervention to Reduce Environmental Barriers and Promote Participation for People Aging with Disability

The goal of Project 3 was to develop an intervention to teach self-management skills and remove barriers to participation for people aging with long-term physical disabilities. Project 3 is complete; the resulting intervention, Removing Environmental Barriers to Independent Living (REBIL), is now being tested in a sample of people aging with disabilities (Project 4). See our website for more information on the development of REBIL.

Project 4: Testing the Efficacy of the REBIL Intervention

Project 4 consists of conducting a randomized controlled trial to test REBIL, the intervention developed in Project 3. We are actively recruiting participants to test the intervention. Anyone who is interested, between the ages of 45 and 65, and has had a physical disability for at least five years is encouraged to call us at 314-287-4118 or email us at cedarmidwest@paraquad.org for more information.

Our Team

CEDAR Midwest includes well-established scientists in rehabilitation/participation science and aging research, and community organizations that serve both older adults and people with disabilities. Our team is experienced in community-engaged research approaches. The institutional partners, Washington University, Paraquad and the Simmons School of Social Work, are leaders in participation and aging with disability. Scientific and community advisory boards enhance the team and ensure the scientific rigor and community focus of our projects. To learn more about our team, please visit cedarmidwest.org.

Team Member Spotlight:

Szu-Wei Chen

Szu-Wei Chen, PhD, OT, is a postdoctoral research associate in the Participation, Environment and Performance Laboratory (PEPL) in the Program in Occupational Therapy at Washington University School of Medicine. She holds a bachelor’s degree and research master’s degree, both in occupational therapy, from National Taiwan University. In May 2020, she graduated from the occupational therapy PhD program at New York University and joined PEPL as a trainee in July 2020.
Before she came to the U.S. to pursue her degree, she worked as an occupational therapist in Taiwan providing home health, job accommodation and assistive technology services for people with disabilities. Currently, she works with Dr. Stark in the PEPL, where she co-mentors students on their individual research projects, supervises graduate assistants on everyday lab work and provides research support for various lab projects. Dr. Chen’s personal research interest is in leisure participation and health promotion for older adults and people with disabilities. Her role on the CEDAR Midwest team is to support the project’s research efforts, where she hopes to learn from the team and its resources to embark on her own research career in the future.

What We've Been Up To...

ACRM Conference

ACRM poster winner announcement-- 2nd Place. Poster title: Physical activity and participation of people aging with long-term physical disability. Primary author: Courtney Weber
CEDAR Midwest team members presented posters at the 2020 Annual ACRM Conference, which was held virtually. Congratulations to CEDAR Midwest team member Courtney Weber, who won second prize for her poster on physical activity and participation for people aging with long-term disabilities!

REDCap Webinar

Introduction to REDCap graphic
On November 18, Chris Sorensen from Becker Medical Library presented an introduction to REDCap to our Community-Based Research Network. REDCap is a secure tool for collecting and storing study data. Community organizations can use REDCap to survey their participants about their health and participation to develop programming that best meets the needs of the community. The webinar was recorded and is available online.
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.
Copyright © 2019 Community Engagement for Disability and Aging Research Midwest, All rights reserved.

Our website is:

For technical assistance or more information, please call 314-289-4270 or email us at cedarmidwest@paraquad.org.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.