Drs. Safford ’16DPT, McClure, Shah Receive APTA Grant for Shoulder Research

April 17, 2017 Jennifer Retter

Dr. Daniel Safford ’16DPT, MAT, CSCS, adjunct lab instructor, Dr. Philip McClure PT, PhD, FAPTA, professor and chair of Physical Therapy, and Dr. Kshamata Shah PT, PhD, assistant professor of Physical Therapy, received a $22,600 grant from the Orthopaedic Section of the American Physical Therapy Association to conduct research using the Timed Functional Arm and Shoulder Test (TFAST).

Developed by members of the Shoulder Research Lab at Arcadia University, the TFAST is an objective measure of upper extremity performance that provides a global representation of functional ability using minimal equipment. The team’s initial research, accepted for publication in the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy, established the feasibility and reliability of the TFAST in healthy, asymptomatic patients over a wide age range.

Through the two-year grant, researchers will determine if the TFAST can be safely performed on patients with upper extremity complaints in a study titled “Reliability, Validity and Responsiveness of the Timed Functional Arm and Shoulder Test (TFAST) in Patients with Shoulder Problems.”

After appropriate training, data collected at multiple clinical sites will provide valuable information to health care providers and patients. In the long term, the TFAST will improve treatment of shoulder complications such as arthritis, overuse injuries, and rotator cuff tears by allowing clinicians to develop appropriate rehabilitation plans based on performance, rather than patients’ judgment alone.

Extending research he conducted as an entry-level DPT student, Dr. Safford will serve as principal investigator (PI) while also completing Arcadia’s post-graduate Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Residency program with the Class of 2017. As PI, Dr. Safford will facilitate training, aggregate resources, collect data in his clinical practice, and assist in manuscript preparation and conference presentations.

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