This study used cognitive, affective, and behavioral measures to address if these states are predictors of an individual’s improvement in gait speed and distance while he or she is receiving physical therapy treatment. To do this, we focused on individuals who have an incomplete spinal cord injury with an American Spinal Injury Association (AISA) Impairment Scale of grade C or D and are receiving physical therapy treatment. By analyzing the inter-relationship between the psychologically-based emotional nature of an individual and his or her improvement in gait speed and distance while he or she is receiving physical therapy treatment, we hope to help develop the tools to make better decisions and predictions about physical therapy treatment and its potential outcomes.
We believed that Emotional indicators -- i.e. decreased anxiety, depression, pain-related catastrophic thinking, and childhood trauma -- will be indicative of improved performance during physical therapy treatment. We also believed that cognitive indicators related to general non-emotional cognitive ability will not be strong predictors of improved performance during the course of Clinical Locomotor Treatment. However, we thought that a measure of implicit memory would be positively correlated to the speed of improvement during the course of physical therapy treatment.
To address the study's question, cognitive (which included affective measures) and behavioral psychological tests were administered to experimental group participants on four different occasions. The tests were administered once every week for a duration of four weeks. In addition, we compared whether or not the experimental group’s baseline scores were in line with healthy individual’s scores. To do this we administered the psychological tests to a group of healthy individuals. The group of healthy individuals took the psychological tests twice. The tests were administered two weeks apart.