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Dr. Victor Mark The American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) recently held the largest annual conference in the world for interdisciplinary rehabilitation research. It was the 100th annual conference, and it brought together researchers, clinicians, administrators, and others to learn about cutting-edge research and its translation into clinical practice.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) helped kick off the weeklong event with pre-conference instructional courses. Yuying Chen, M.D., Ph.D., professor and vice chair of PM&R research, was joined by PM&R postdoc fellow, Huacong Wen, Ph.D., as part of a panel of experts who presented a course on “Best Practices for Conducting Research Using the Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems Database.” Victor Mark, M.D., associate professor, was part of a panel of experts who presented a course on “Rehabilitation for Functional Neurological Disorder.” Associate Professor, Jereme Wilroy, Ph.D., was part of a panel of experts for an early career development course, “Creating a Roadmap for Future Success as Emerging Professionals.”

PM&R researchers were also featured presenters on research outcomes. Dr. Chen, who received the prestigious Margaret Nosek Award, was a featured presenter on “Prevalence, Trends and Outcomes in Demographic, Injury, and Pregnancy from Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems.” This presentation highlighted results from two studies that compared pregnancy, labor, and delivery outcomes of women with and without spinal cord injury.

Fedora Biney, Ph.D., assistant professor, was one of the presenter on the “Applications of Speed of Processing Training in Older Adults, Stroke and Long COVID.” Dr. Biney presented research outcomes from a pilot study of Constraint-Induced Cognitive Therapy in stroke survivors with cognitive impairments.

Dr. Mark was also one of the presenters on “Rehabilitation for Functional Movement Disorder, Parkinson Disease, and Dystonia: Shared or Different Treatment Methods”. This symposium brought together a neurologist and two physical therapists to discuss the clinical characteristics of each movement disorder, what specific physical therapy techniques have been developed for each disorder, and how these approaches share common methods as well as what techniques are best applied within the disorders. Finally, Dr. Mark was among a panel of experts offering a “Candid Discussion on Burnout in Rehab Physicians and Clinicians.” In this informal discussion, Dr. Mark and others shared their personal experiences with profession-induced fatigue along with their adaptive strategies to job-related strain.

PM&R was also among presenting authors during ACRM’s Poster Sessions. Dr. Wen presented on a “Comparison of Demographic and Health Profiles between Veterans and Non-Veterans Living with Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury in the United States.” Casey Azuero, Ph.D., MPH, associate professor, was presenting author on an “Examination of the Chronic Pain Acceptance Questionnaire CPAQ-R and CPAQ-8 in a Sample of Patients with Chronic Pain in the Southeastern United States,” and PM&R associate professors, Megan M. Hays, Ph.D. and Sean Hollis, Ph.D., were non-presenting authors. ACRM is a global community of both researchers and consumers of research, in the field of rehabilitation. ACRM is the only professional association representing all members of the interdisciplinary rehabilitation team, including researchers and scientists, physicians, clinicians and nurses, counselors and therapists, case managers and administrators, biomedical engineers, and others.