Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Physical Therapy & Human Movement Sciences

Lois Deming Hedman, PT, DScPT, MS

Research Description

have a long-standing interest in quantifying posture and balance dysfunction post-stroke. The focus of my current work, however, is studying the feasibility and efficacy of an intervention to improve the capability of community dwelling stroke survivors’ paretic limbs to respond reactively to postural perturbations. Specifically we are studying the effect of lateral reactive treadmill training on the frequency and characteristics of reactive paretic limb stepping in response to a waist pull perturbations.

I am also collaborating with Alice Salzman, PT, EdD in a qualitative study to describe the affective behaviors of student physical therapists that influence the development of effective clinical reasoning, the response of faculty to the behaviors and the factors that influence faculty’s responses. We are conducting focus groups of core and associated physical therapy faculty from all the programs in Illinois.

Observational gait analysis has limited usefulness for describing the problems that individuals who are aging or those with central nervous system dysfunction demonstrate when they are walking. Many individuals without obvious gait deviations, as assessed using observational gait analysis, experience significant problems walking safely or successfully. Therefore, I therefore created and tested the validity of 15 conceptually based and clinically-oriented requirements of locomotion using a consensus driven Delphi process. This resulted in expert consensus on the labels and descriptions for many of the requirements for successful locomotion. These requirements may form the basis for a clinically feasible and systematic diagnostic tool for physical therapists to categorize locomotor problems. The study’s methodology also provides a model for the initial development of diagnostic classifications. 

Current Projects

The Feasibility and Efficacy of Induced Lateral Step Treadmill Training to Improve Paretic Limb Stepping Post-Stroke
Exploration of Physical Therapist Students' Affective Behaviors Influencing Clinical Reasoning

Synthesis Projects

The Feasibility and Efficacy of Induced Lateral Step Treadmill Training to Improve Paretic Limb Stepping Post-Stroke

Principal Investigator

Collaborating Faculty