Information for Health Care Providers

The Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) is conducting a clinical research study called “Boston RISE” (Rehabilitative Impairment Study of the Elderly). This study is designed to evaluate modifiable risk factors for decline in mobility skills and disability among older adults. We will enroll a cohort of 420 primary care patients and follow them for 2 years. Each qualified participant will complete a 2-visit evaluation at baseline, which will include a detailed history and physical examination, cognitive testing, self-report questionnaires, assessment of physical performance and rehabilitative impairment testing. Follow up examinations will occur over similar paired visits at 12 and 24 months of follow up.

Links to detailed information about the study can be found in the ‘Links’ section.

How do I know which patients are appropriate for the study?

The inclusion criteria for this study are:

  1. Age ≥65 years
  2. Able to understand and communicate in English
  3. Difficulty or task modification with mile (6 blocks) or climbing one flight of stairs

The exclusion criteria for this study are:

  1. Presence of a terminal disease (e.g. receiving hospice services, metastatic cancer)
  2. Major surgery or Myocardial Infarction in the last 6 months
  3. Planned major surgery (e.g. joint replacement)
  4. Planned move from the Boston area within 2 years
  5. Baseline Mini-mental state exam (MMSE) score <18
  6. Major medical problems interfering with safe and successful testing (examples may include: history hip replacement with recurrent dislocation, uncontrolled hypertension, use of supplemental oxygen)
  7. Baseline Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) score <4

Click here for more information about the inclusion/exclusion criteria.

What are you asking participants to do?

Participants will be asked to complete a comprehensive medical assessment at the MGH Clinical Research Center and a comprehensive rehabilitative evaluation at the Spaulding Cambridge Outpatient Center. Each visit should take 1.5 to 3 hours.

How will this help my patient?

There is no direct benefit to individuals participating in this study. However, we will be collecting basic medical information that will be made available to you in the LMR if your patient gives us permission to do so.

Are there any risks involved?

The risk involved is minimal. All of the proposed measures have been validated among older adults of varying health status. The study staff have extensive experience conducting these measures safely among older adults with mobility problems. The risks are expected to be similar to those risks involved in participating in a physical therapy program: standing, stair climbing, walking, and activities of daily living.


If you have any questions, please contact:

Principal Investigator
Jonathan Bean, MD, MS, MPH

Recruitment Coordinator
Sanja Percac-Lima, MD, PhD

Research Coordinator
Nicole Holt, MPH