Current research studies

Compass Course

Funded by Abbott Northwestern Hospital Foundation
An study examining whether or not people see improvement in their sense of well-being as a result of participating in the Compass Course, an 8-session progressive course designed to provide participants with information, tools and support to empower them to reclaim a sense of purpose in daily life following breast cancer treatment.

Co-principal Investigators: Mary Radomski, PhD, OTR/L, Karen Swenson, PhD, RN

Fibrosis Study
Funded by Courage Kenny Foundation
A feasibility study to look at a new tool created by Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute staff to help diagnose fibrosis that is a result of earlier cancer treatments, be able to document more clearly between care providers the tissue changes and how they affect patients.

Co-principal Investigators: Laura Franco, PT, OCS, Monica Heinen, PT, CLT-LANA

Grace Notes
Funded by Courage Kenny Foundation 
A pilot study that aims to analyze a previously-developed spiritual intervention for adults with acquired brain injury (ABI) and to evaluate its impact and transferability on spiritual well-being. 

Client summaries
Facilitators' Guide

Principal Investigator: Chaplain Peggy Thompson, BCC, MDiv, MFA, BFA

Front Desk Duty Multi-tasking Test

Funded by Courage Kenny Foundation
A modified version of the Charge of Quarters Duty Test (CQD) that is sensitive to executive dysfunction experienced by soldiers with mild traumatic brain injury. Developed by Courage Kenny Research Center researchers for the United States Army. This modified version, for use with civilians, examines whether it is sensitive to executive dysfunction in people who have mild stroke.

Principal Investigator: Mary Radomski, PhD, OTR/L

Minnesota Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Dual Task Study
funded by Minnesota Spinal Cord Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury Research Grant Program
A study designed to refine a progressive rehabilitation program using motor/cognitive dual-task methodology to assist with resolution of persistent post TBI symptoms and to expand upon prior research in an active duty military population evaluating dual-task assessments including the use of inertial sensors (activity monitors) to determine readiness to return to full activity or sports after TBI in civilians.

Principal Investigator: Maggie Weightman, PT, PhD 

Concussion-Exercise Feasibility Study
funded by the Courage Kenny Foundation
A study to evaluate the feasibility, adherence and tolerance to graded exercise testing and a progressive sub-symptom threshold aerobic exercise program for adults at an outpatient rehabilitation facility for residual concussion symptoms. Describe responses to a 12-week progressive, sub-symptom threshold aerobic exercise program in terms of symptom reports, mood, quality of life, cognition and functional status. 

Principal Investigator: Maggie Weightman, PT, PhD

Neuro Recovery Network
Funded by NIH/Dana and Christopher Reeve Foundation 2010 to present
Part of a multi-site study of activity-based locomotor activity for people with spinal cord injury. 

Principal Investigator: Nancy Flinn, PhD

Funded by Courage Kenny Foundation, 2016 to 2019
A wait-list controlled study to evaluate the effectiveness of the Activity-Based Locomotor Exercise Program (ABLE) in people with spinal cord injury (SCI). 

Principal Investigator: Nancy Flinn, PhD

Wheelchair Speed
Funded by Courage Kenny Foundation, July 2017 – December 2018
A cross-section correlational study that examines the relationships between wheelchair speed, maneuverability and endurance with community integration using GPS tracking and a series of wheelchair maneuverability assessments. 

Principal Investigator: Amber Wacek

Funded by Courage Kenny Foundation, 2016 to 2026
A 10-year longitudinal study to examine the effects of early participation in organized sports and recreation activities on health, quality of life and social participation of children and youth with disabilities. 

Principal Investigator: Nancy Flinn, PhD

Research study opportunities

Play Long Study

Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute is conducting a 10-year longitudinal research study exploring the long-term impact of participating in adaptive sports and recreation for young children with disabilities.

Who is eligible to participate?
Parents of children who are between 5 and 8 years old and participate in adaptive sports or recreation.

Children who are between 5 and 8 years old, who participate in adaptive sports or recreation and who have a disability.

Parents and children complete surveys every six months. Parent surveys will take about 20 to 30 minutes; the child survey will take about five minutes. The parent surveys are about your child’s social participation at home, in school and in the community. If you choose to have your child participate, their surveys are about how they perceive their health and health-related quality of life.

If parents or children choose to participate, we will mail the surveys to their homes. Parents should contact Stacey Rabusch ( to enroll in the study. 

Wheelchair Speed and Community Integration Study

Researchers at Courage Kenny Research Center would like to know more about how you move around in the community using your manual wheelchair.

Attend one, one-hour session at the Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute - Golden Valley. Receive a $20 gift card following the wheelchair handling evaluation in appreciation for your time.

Contact: Stacey Rabusch, research coordinator, 612-863-0882

More information  

Concussion study - seeking volunteers – active adults who have or have not had a concussion

Researchers at Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute are studying an exercise program that includes thinking and moving activities (dual-task) to reduce continuing symptoms after a concussion. The exercise program could be used for highly trained athletes or military members as they recover from concussions.  

Attend group exercise classes:

  • 60 minutes per session
  • three sessions per week as able
  • for six weeks
  • includes exercise stations with movement and thinking activities combined (dual-task)
  • physical therapists will monitor and progress exercise and activities
  • attend a 1-1/2 hour testing session before and after exercise classes

Receive up to $200 in gift cards in appreciation for your time and contribution to this research.

More information for those who:

Have had a concussion

Have not had a concussion 


Attend a one-time session:

  • 2 to 2 1/2 hours at Abbott Northwestern Hospital or a community site
  • participate in physical and thinking activities while wearing activity monitors
  • complete some questionnaires about thinking skills, mood, and everyday activities
  • receive a $50 gift card compensation in appreciation for your time

More information for those who:

Have had a concussion

Have not had a concussion 

Contact: Maggie Weightman, principal investigator, 612-863-6525, or Stacey Rabusch, research coordinator, 612-863-0882.

Charge of Quarters Duty – Alternate Form Research Study

Help us research a way to get our soldiers safely back to duty after concussion.

You can participate in a research study to help medical providers know when service members with a concussion should return to challenging activities such as military duty. Receive $50 in gift cards in appreciation for your time.

Who is eligible to participate?
1. People with an acquired brain injury (such as concussion, traumatic brain injury, stroke) and
2. People without a history of acquired brain injury.

If interested contact Ginger Carroll, Courage Kenny research coordinator, at or 612-863-3262.

More Information