WOMEN'S HEALTH RESEARCH SOARS AT COLUMBIA PT

Posted by vanessa on March 9, 2018

PT faculty member Dr. Cynthia Chiarello has long been engaged in research on musculoskeletal facets of women’s health with a particular interest in abdominal and pelvic function. Currently, she is partnering with Dr. Farah Hameed, Rehabilitation Medicine’s Medical Director for Women’s Health, to study pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain (PPGP). They are examining women throughout their pregnancy to see whether an exercise program targeting the core musculature improves pain and function. They are also initiating research into the prevalence rates of PPGP in New York City.

 A well-known expert on Diastasis Rectus Abdominis, (DRA), the abnormal abdominal muscle separation at the linea alba, Dr. Chiarello continues to study this condition. She is investigating the normal width of the linea alba under different loading conditions using ultrasound imaging in collaboration with Dr. Christopher Visco, Ursula Corning Associate Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine Research. A component of this work on the abdominal musculature was presented as a poster at CSM this past February in New Orleans by two DPT III students, Elizabeth Abercrombie and Carley Schleien. Additionally, Dr. Chiarello has been invited to speak on the role of DRA to trunk function at the International Continence Society Meeting this August. Together with Kari Bo PT, PhD of Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, and Sinéad Dufour, PT, PhD, of McMaster University, she will be presenting a session entitled, Pregnancy-Related Musculoskeletal Conditions: The Pelvic Floor and Linea Alba Connection.”

This past year, Dr. Chiarello assumed the role of Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy (JWHPT), and is focused on restructuring.  She has recruited a full editorial board, conducted the first strategic planning meeting, and upgraded information for authors and reviewers.  She plans to take the journal from three issues yearly to a quarterly next year in preparation for indexing. When asked what she enjoys most about her work with JWHPT, Dr. Chiarello replied, “I am excited to share my passion for research with others in the profession to help them advance our knowledge of women’s health.”

L-R: Dr. Cynthia Chiarello, with Elizabeth Abercrombie and Carley Schleien (Both CUDPT 2018)

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