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Kessler Foundation scientists receive Biogen Idec grant to study actual reality in MS

West Orange, NJ. April 10, 2014. John DeLuca, PhD, and Yael Goverover, PhD, OT, have received a grant from Biogen Idec to study how persons with multiple sclerosis (MS) perform everyday life tasks. The grant, entitled "The Use of Actual Reality to Measure Everyday Life Functional Activity in Multiple Sclerosis" provides financial support to conduct this research. Dr. DeLuca is senior VP of Research & Training at Kessler Foundation. Dr. Goverover, an associate professor at New York University, is a visiting scientist at Kessler Foundation. She was a NIDRR-funded postdoctoral fellow at Kessler Foundation.

Multiple sclerosis can have dramatic effects on performance of everyday life activities. Despite this, outcome measures in MS have been geared primarily toward assessment of "impairment" and/or self-report instruments of quality of life. This study employs a new and innovative assessment for measuring actual everyday life activities called Actual Reality (AR).

AR is a performance-based assessment approach that involves research participants using the internet to perform three actual everyday life activities: purchasing (1) an airline ticket, (2) cookies; and (3) pizza for a party. "AR is a significant step toward broadening the scope of assessment of performance of Instrumental Activities of Daily Living," noted Dr. DeLuca, "and making assessments more accessible and relevant to persons with MS." The study will focus on the development and the initial establishment of psychometric properties (e.g., reliability) of the AR tasks.


Contact: Carolann Murphy
Kessler Foundation

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