Dr. Peii Chen of Kessler Foundation named Distinguished Switzer Research Fellow
East Hanover, NJ – December 11, 2017 – Peii Chen, PhD, research scientist at Kessler Foundation, has been awarded a 2017 Switzer Research Fellowship by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). The $80,000 Distinguished Award funds her research on interventions to improve rehabilitation outcomes for people with spatial neglect, a hidden disability that complicates recovery after stroke.
Dr. Chen is the eighth Foundation scientist to be awarded a Switzer Fellowship, and the first to receive a Distinguished Research Fellowship. The Distinguished Research Fellowships are competitive awards; two were awarded by NIDILRR in 2017.
Spatial neglect affects approximately half of stroke survivors in the inpatient rehabilitation facility setting. Patients with spatial neglect are more likely to experience poor rehabilitation outcomes, prolonged hospitalization, lower home return rates, and increased risks for injuries. Spatial neglect also increases the stress on caregivers. With this Switzer Research Fellowship, Dr. Chen will test the efficacy of the Family-Clinician Collaboration (FCC) intervention, a comprehensive program that fosters family, clinician, and patient communication, and emphasizes caregiving education and training.
"Having a care plan that includes goals and requires frequent communication among patients, family members, and clinicians may minimize the negative outcomes associated with spatial neglect," remarked Dr. Chen. "The objective of the project is to assess the FCC intervention, and to use the preliminary data to generate new research questions that will guide my work beyond the Switzer Fellowship. My hope is that the study will serve as a framework for collaborative family involvement for current acute and post-acute healthcare systems."
In 2017, Peii Chen, PhD, was also awarded a three-year NIDILRR grant valued at $600,000 to apply virtual reality technology to the treatment of spatial neglect. "Dr. Chen's two new projects reflect Kessler Foundation's leadership in spatial neglect research," said A.M. Barrett, MD, director of Stroke Rehabilitation Research at Kessler Foundation. "As she begins this work, she will be pioneering a new direction in spatial neglect studies."
Funding source: National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research grant 90SFGE0001
About Switzer Research Fellowship Program
The purpose of the Switzer Research Fellow Program is to build research capacity by providing support to highly qualified individuals, including those with disabilities, to perform research on rehabilitation, independent living, and other experiences and outcomes of individuals with disabilities. Distinguished Fellowships require an individual must have seven or more years of research experience in subject areas, methods, or techniques relevant to disability and rehabilitation research and must have a doctorate, other terminal degree, or comparable academic qualifications.
About Kessler Foundation
Kessler Foundation, a major nonprofit organization in the field of disability, 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 diseases and injuries of the brain and spinal cord. Kessler Foundation leads the nation in funding innovative programs that expand employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
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