Medical-Rehabilitation Research

Medical-Rehabilitation Research Photo PTFranciscan Children’s Medical-Rehabilitation Research Center is devoted to the promotion of evidence-based practice in post-acute hospital care, pediatric rehabilitation, physical activity and fitness, education, and medical and dental care for children with special health care needs.

Housed within Franciscan’s Children’s, and under the direction of Dr. Jane O’Brien and Dr. Jay Berry, the Medical-Rehabilitation Research Center provides the infrastructure and expertise to evaluate and investigate the effectiveness of new interventions and programs and to disseminate the results to a broad community of consumers, professionals, and purchasers of pediatric services.

About our Program

Clinical and Scientific Excellence

The Medical-Rehabilitation Research Center  is committed to outcome management and research methodologies that evaluate the effectiveness of services and ensure that the highest quality is achieved across all levels of the continuum of care.

Professional Training

The Medical-Rehabilitation Research Center is committed to identifying the educational and training needs of students and health care professionals and providing specialized, educational programs.

Program Goals

  • To evaluate the delivery of care
  • To provide clinical outcomes analyses
  • To examine new methods of care
  • To provide training to pediatric medical and rehabilitation students and professionals


The Medical-Rehabilitation Research Center partners with local, regional and national foundations, corporations, universities, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to evaluate and promote excellence in care for children.  The Medical-Rehabilitation Research Center at Franciscan Children’s was the founding member of the Specialized Pediatric Applied Research Collaborative (SPARC), a national group of pediatric post-acute facilities pursuing a common research agenda. Our recent collaborators include:

  • Bobath Centre, London
  • Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Children’s Hospital Association, Washington, DC
  • Courage Center, Minneapolis, MN
  • CRECare, LLC, Newburyport, MA
  • Department of Educational Research, Measurement, and Evaluation, Lynch School of Education, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA
  • Department of Exercise & Health Sciences, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, UMASS Boston, Boston, MA
  • Department of Occupational Therapy, Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Boston University, Boston, MA
  • Departments of Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Department of Physical Therapy, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
  • Department of Physical Therapy, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
  • Department of Physical Therapy, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston, MA
  • Department of Physical Therapy, Northeastern University, Boston, MA
  • Department of Physical Therapy, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
  • Department of Physical Therapy, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Department of Pediatrics and Rehabilitation Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
  • Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • Health and Disability Research Institute, School of Public Health, Boston University, Boston, MA
  • MA Department of Conservation and Recreation
  • Nemours Hospital/Alfred I. duPont Institute, Wilmington, Delaware
  • Queensland Cerebral Palsy and Rehabilitation Research Centre, School of Medicine, University of Queensland, Queensland, Australia


2015 - present

Fragala-Pinkham MA, Miller P, Dumas HM, Shore B. Development and cross validation of equations to link PEDI scores to PEDI-CAT scores for youth with cerebral palsy. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Submitted October, 2017.

O’Brien JE, Dumas HM, Fragala-Pinkham MA, Berry JG. Admissions to Acute Care within 30 and 90 Days of Discharge Home from a Pediatric Post-acute Care Hospital. Hospital Pediatrics. In press, June, 2017.

Berry JG, Wilson K, Dumas HM, Simpser E, O’Brien JE, et. al. Use of Post-Acute Facility Care in Children Hospitalized with Acute Respiratory Illness. Journal of Hospital Medicine. In press. May, 2017.

Shore BJ, Allar BA, Miller PE, Matheney T, Snyder B, Fragala-Pinkham M. Evaluating the Discriminant Validity of the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory – Computer Adaptive Test in Children with Cerebral Palsy. Physical Therapy. 2017 Mar 31. Epub ahead of print.

Dumas HM, Fragala-Pinkham MA, Rosen, EL, O’Brien JE. Construct Validity of the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory Computer Adaptive Test (PEDI-CAT) in Children with Medical Complexity. Disability & Rehabilitation. Disabil Rehabil. 2017 Nov;39(23):2446-2451.

Dumas HM, Fragala-Pinkham MA, Rosen, EL, Folmar E. Physical Therapy Dosing: Frequency and Type of Intervention in Pediatric Post-Acute Hospital Care. Pediatric Physical Therapy. 2017;29(1):47-53.

Crowley RA, Dumas HM, Fragala-Pinkham MA, Dougherty DN, Hull EM, Hughes ML, Eric Hsaio E. Child to nurse communication in pediatric post-acute hospital care: Evaluation of the VerbalCare tablet application. Disability & Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology. 2017;12(5):462-468.

Roostaei M, Baharlouei H, Azadi H, Fragala-Pinkham MA. Effects of Aquatic Intervention on Gross Motor Skills in Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Systematic Review.

Phys Occup Ther Pediatr. 2016 Dec 14:1-20.

Fragala-Pinkham MA, Dumas HM, Lombard KA, O’Brien JE. Responsiveness of the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory-Computer Adaptive Test in measuring functional outcomes for inpatient pediatric rehabilitation. Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine. 2016;9(3):215-222.

Pasternak A, Siderisis G, Fragala-Pinkham M, Glanzman AM, et al and the Pediatric Neuromuscular Clinical Research Network for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (PNCRN). Rasch Analysis of the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory-Computer Adaptive Test (PEDI-CAT) Item Bank in Children and Young Adults with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). Muscle and Nerve. 2016;54(6):1097-1107.

O’Neil ME, Ideishi RI, Benedetto M, Ideishi SK, Fragala-Pinkham M.  A Yoga Program for Preschool Children in Head Start and Early Intervention: A Feasibility Study.  Journal of Yoga and Physical Therapy. 2016; 6:2.

Hayward LM, Fragala-Pinkham M, Johnson K, Torres A. A Community-Based, Adaptive Soccer Program for Children with Autism: Design, Implementation, and Evaluation. Palestra. In press. March 31(1):2017.

Trost SG, Maria Fragala-Pinkham M, Lennon N, O’Neil ME. Decision Tree Models for Detection of Physical Activity Intensity in Youth with Cerebral Palsy. Med Science Sports Exercise.  2016;48(5):958-66.

Fragala-Pinkham MA, Dumas HM, Lombard KA, O’Brien JE. Responsiveness of the PEDI-CAT in measuring functional outcomes for inpatient pediatric rehabilitation. Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine. In press, March 2016.

Berry JG, Hall M, Dumas HM, O’Brien JE, et al. National Prevalence of Pediatric Hospital Discharges to Home Health and Post-Acute Facility Care. JAMA- Pediatrics. Apr;170(4):326-33.

O’Neil ME, Fragala-Pinkham M, Lennon N, George A, Forman J, Trost SG. Reliability and Validity of Objective Measures of Physical Activity in Youth with Cerebral Palsy Who are Ambulatory. Physical Therapy. 2016;96:37-45.

Lombard K. Physical Therapy for a Child Post-Stroke with a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) awaiting Heart Transplant: A Case Report. Pediatric Physical Therapy. 2016;28(1):126-132.

O’Brien JE, Dumas HM. Development and Initial Psychometric Evaluation of the Post-Acute Acuity Rating for Children (PAARC). Rehabilitation Research and Practice. 2015.

Dumas HM, Fragala-Pinkham MA, Rosen EL, Lombard KA, Farrell C. Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory Computer Adaptive Test (PEDI-CAT) and the Alberta Infant Motor Scales (AIMS): Validity and Responsiveness. Physical Therapy. 2015;95:1559-1568.

Fragala-Pinkham M, O’Neil M, Lennon N, Forman JL, Trost SG. Validity of the OMNI Rating of Perceived Exertion Scale for Youth with Cerebral Palsy.  Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology. 2015;57(8):748-753.

Lennon N, Thorpe D; Balemans ACJ, Fragala-Pinkham M, O’Neil M, Bjornson K, Boyd R, Dallmeijer A. The Clinimetric Properties of Measures of Aerobic and Anaerobic Fitness in Adolescents and Adults with Cerebral Palsy: A review of the literature. Research in Developmental Disabilities. 2015;45-46:316-328.

O’Brien JE, Berry JG, Dumas HM. Pediatric Post-Acute Hospital Care:  Striving for Identity and Value. Hospital Pediatrics. 2015;5:548-551..

O’Brien JE, Dumas HM, Leslie D. Neonatal Abstinence: Outcomes in Post-Acute Care. Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine. 2015;8(2):157-160.

O’Brien JE. Dumas HM, Nash CM, Mekary R. Unplanned readmissions to acute care from a pediatric post-acute care hospital: Incidence, clinical reasons and predictive factors. Hospital Pediatrics. 2015;5(3):134-40.

Golub-Victor AC, Dumas HM. Influence of a Higher Education Early Intervention (EI) Training Program on Post-Graduation Physical Therapist Employment and Practice. Pediatric Physical Therapy. Pediatric Physical Therapy. 2015;27(2):152-9.

Dumas HM, Golub-Victor AC. Commentary on “Reliability and Validity of Timed Floor to Stand Test-Natural in School-Aged Children”. Pediatric Physical Therapy. 2015;27(2):118

Rowland JL, Fragala-Pinkham M, Miles C, O’Neil ME.  The Scope of Pediatric Physical Therapy Practice in Health Promotion and Fitness for Youth with Disabilities. Pediatric Physical Therapy. 2015;27(1):2-15.

O’Brien JE, Dumas HM. Weaning with Morphine Only versus Weaning with Morphine and Phenobarbital for Infants with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. Journal of Pediatric and Neonatal Care. February, 2015;

For more information please contact:

Helene M. Dumas PT, DPT, MS (; 617-254-3800 x5474)

Maria A. Fragala-Pinkham PT, DPT, MS (; 617-254-3800 x2280)

Contact Now