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SC Sport Psychologist Seeks Former ACL Patients To Review New CD-ROM

May 13, 2004

SPRINGFIELD, Mass., May 13, 2004 -- Springfield College Associate Professor of Psychology Britton W. Brewer is searching for persons who have had ACL (anterior curciate ligament) surgery to provide him with feedback on a CD-ROM being developed to help future ACL patients.

Brewer’s research team is scheduling focus groups to review a prototype CD-ROM that they are developing through a $99,800 Small Business Technology Transfer grant (STTR) from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). The grant was awarded to Virtual Brands with Springfield College as the collaborating research institution. Brewer, who is the lead investigator in the project, is a partner in the Wilbraham-based Virtual Brands, which specializes in high quality multimedia products to foster excellence and well-being in sport, health and life.

According to Brewer, the purpose of the CD-ROM is to inform patients about the process of ACL surgery and rehabilitation, reduce patients’ anxiety about the surgery, and enhance the recovery process. A torn ACL, which is located in the knee, is a common and debilitating injury that physically active people sustain. Rehabilitation after surgery can last six months or longer.

People interested in participating in an ACL CD-ROM focus group may contact Brewer at bbrewer@spfldcol.edu or (413) 748-3696. Focus groups participants will meet on one evening in June and will each receive $40 for their involvement in the study. During the session, participants will use the CD-ROM and comment on its content. Brewer said that input from women and members of minority groups is essential to the success of the research.

Brewer said that the grant covers Phase I of the project, which is development of the prototype CD-ROM. He plans to apply for additional STTR funding for Phase II, in which his team will evaluate the effectiveness of the CD-ROM at enhancing the surgery experience and improving rehabilitation outcomes. STTR grants are designed to foster collaborative relationships between small businesses and research institutions.

Dr. Joseph H. Sklar of New England Orthopedic Surgeons, a clinical adjunct professor at Springfield College, is a key collaborator on the project. Del Padre Visual Productions in East Longmeadow is producing the CD-ROM.

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