FPTR Grant Funds Study Looking at Impact of Rehab on ICU Patients

Guest Post by Jason R. Falvey, PT, DPT, PhD

Researchers and clinicians often see functional decline among older intensive care unit (ICU) survivors. However, little research has focused on the role of rehabilitation in alleviating these concerns.

Additionally, while rehabilitation may also have a significant impact on other symptoms, such as pain and fatigue, few patients participate. As the recipient of the 2019 Foundation for Physical Therapy Research (FPTR) Health Services Research Pipeline Grant, I hope to change the way patients approach rehabilitative services.

The FPTR-funded project – also made possible by a generous donation from the American Physical Therapy Association – will be the first to evaluate social and environmental factors associated with rehabilitation use and functional outcomes in older adults after critical illness.

The study will draw data from a unique 20-year longitudinal cohort study — called Precipitating Events Study — of community-dwelling older adults. It will assesses a geriatric’s ability to complete 13 critical functional activities. It will also evaluate, every 18 months, important factors such as frailty, cognitive function, and social support.

Furthermore, when linked with Medicare claims data, this study has the potential to evaluate the functional consequences of critical illness, observe the real time impact of physical therapy, and inform future multidisciplinary medical and policy interventions for ICU patients.

Jason R. Falvey, PT, DPT, PhD, is a postdoctoral fellow of Yale University’s School of Medicine. He recently joined the University of Maryland Baltimore’s faculty as an Assistant Professor. 

Select Foundation Grants and Scholarships Awarded

In the course of my career in physical therapy to date, I have been exposed to many different areas. I have taught students both in the clinic and classroom, worked as a legislative chairman for the Eastern District of the Illinois Physical Therapy Association and held both clinical and administrative positions. I have been an instructor in the Physical Therapy Program at Marquette University, an instructor and pre-Physical Therapy advisor at both the University of Alaska and Seattle University and now an instructor in Neuroanatomy for Physical Therapy and Medical Students at the University of Minnesota. All the while, I have advanced my own education and continued to treat patients in the clinic simultaneously. I would now like to use that education and experience more fully by combining teaching, research and clinical work in a physical therapy academic setting. My overarching goal is to challenge traditional ideas about optimal therapies, best practice and outcomes. As our profession continues to increase its role in interdisciplinary teamwork, I would like to be on the leading edge of
those professionals who continue to work toward questioning our practices and the manner in which we contribute to the rehabilitation of an individual. Specifically, I would like to spend my doctoral work developing an advanced foundation in rehabilitation research and neuroscience. I am interested in post-doctoral training specifically to further my ability to pursue neuroscientific research, and I intend to apply for a position at the Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation (CNBS) at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School. During this post-doctoral pursuit I would also like to complete the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) interdisciplinary training program. This program is geared toward post-graduate fellows who are interested in assuming leadership roles in providing health care services for children with neurodevelopmental disabilities and their families. I hope to apply this postdoctoral training by obtaining an academic position in a Physical Therapy program that would allow me to
combine research and clinical work with teaching. I was recently asked what I would like to have said about me, one day, when I retire. I would be honored to have it said of me that I somehow contributed to the growth and quality of life of others, whether towards the growth of the student who is interested in becoming a PT or the patient who recovers function. I am confident that my doctoral work will give me all the tools I need to make that contribution.


Jason Falvey


  • Falvey J, Murphy T, Gill T, Stevens-Lapsley J, Ferrante L. (2020). Home Health Rehabilitation Utilization Among Medicare Beneficiaries Following Critical Illness: HOME HEALTH REHABILITATION AFTER CRITICAL ILLNESS. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 10.1111/jgs.16412.

  • Falvey J, Murphy T, Gill T, Stevens-Lapsley J, Ferrante L. (2020). FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH HOME HEALTH REHABILITATION UTILIZATION AMONG OLDER ICU SURVIVORS. Critical Care Medicine. 48. 28. 10.1097/01.ccm.0000618720.61285.a5.

  • Collins T, Yong K, Marchetti M, Miller K, Booths B, Falvey J. (2019). The Value of Home Health Physical Therapy. Home Healthcare Now. 37. 145-151. 10.1097/NHH.0000000000000760.