The Sky’s the Limit: Revolutionizing Geriatric Rehabilitation Practice and Outcomes

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Speaker: Dr. Stevens-Lapsley is a Professor and Director of the Rehabilitation Science PhD Program in the Physical Therapy Program at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center. She is focused on identifying, integrating and advancing innovative evidence-based medicine solutions for older adult rehabilitation through highly effective research methods and partnerships. She has almost 20 years of clinical research experience in patients with osteoarthritis planning joint arthroplasty, and more recently, medically complex patient populations. Her research ranges from understanding the mechanisms of skeletal muscle dysfunction to studies of implementation of best rehabilitation practices in post-acute care settings. More specifically, her research includes the evaluation of care bundling strategies for joint arthroplasty, pragmatic interventions in medically complex patient populations, and health services research to understanding how rehabilitation services impact hospitalization rates and functional performance. Her clinical research has resulted in numerous publications (100+), national and international speaking invitations, and awards such as the Jack Walker Manuscript award from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), and an Excellence in Research Award. Over the past decade, she has received over $14 million dollars to support her clinical research.

Dr. Stevens-Lapsley earned her PT degree at the University of Delaware, where she went on to complete a PhD in Biomechanics and Movement Science with a focus in Applied Physiology. She then completed post-doctoral training at the University of Florida.

Descriptions: The onset of post-acute care reform has created an environment for physical therapists to transform clinical practices and be more effective at improving function in medically deconditioned patient populations in shorter episodes of care. Evidence suggests implementing programs focused on mobility throughout the day combined with high-intensity rehabilitation interventions (low repetitions, high weight) produces greater functional gains and can be accomplished in less time than lower-intensity interventions (high repetitions, low weight). This presentation will describe some of the barriers to implementation along with practical strategies to implement higher intensity interventions. The content is relevant to clinicians treating medically complex patients in a variety of settings (e.g acute, skilled nursing, home health, and outpatient).


•        Understand how hospital-associated deconditioning in older adults impairs functional mobility and increases rehospitalization risk.

•        Appreciate current barriers to changing practice patterns for deconditioned older adults following hospitalization.

•        Recognize strategies that better target deconditioning across the continuum of care from hospital to home settings

Earn 1 hour of category I education!

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