Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Researcher Spotlight - Ann Hayes, PT, DPT, MHS, OCS

Hello—I am Ann Hayes, a professor in the Department of Physical Therapy & Athletic Training at Saint Louis University.  While my primary responsibilities in the department are teaching within the musculoskeletal curriculum, I continue to practice clinically in the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at SSMHealth Saint Louis University Hospital which has led to a collegial relationship with Dr. Howard Place, chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and interdisciplinary research in the area of the spine.

While I am not a trained researcher, I have been fortunate to work in a department that has mentored me in areas that enabled me to attain grant funding through the Scoliosis Research Society.  This funding supported our study looking at lumbopelvic mobility in normal subjects resulting in three published papers, one of which was the first paper to dispel the universally accepted fact that pelvic incidence is a fixed measurement.  Since then, I have become C2 certified in Schroth-based Physiotherapeutic Scoliosis Specific Exercise and established a program for adolescents and adults with scoliosis at SSMHealth SLU Hospital, which is now accepted as best practice for the individuals within our system.  

To determine the effects of this intervention with adults with spinal deformity, we have recently initiated a study, “Would Additional Radiographic Measures Taken Pre and Post Physiotherapeutic Scoliosis Specific Exercise Better Demonstrate Successful Outcomes for Adults?” to follow the adult graduates of our PSSE program for two years, documenting their outcomes in pain relief and quality of life as well as to determine any radiographic changes, besides Cobb angle, that might better determine musculoskeletal improvement.  I am especially excited about this study for two reasons--not only for the long-term information that we will collect since there is a lack of evidence for this type of treatment for adults with spinal deformity, but because it involves collaborative work between an Orthopaedic medical resident and a physical therapy student in addition to our usual research team.

Dr. Hayes with SLU PT alumna Dr. Ann Jacott at the 2022 SOSORT Congress
In addition to my spine research, I am fortunate to be a part of a team of fellow PT faculty members who are interested in developing the skills of observational movement analysis in physical therapy students at SLU.  Through a collaborative relationship with faculty from the Department of Fine and Performing Arts, our team has established a curricular thread that is wound through the professional year curriculum in addition to being presented at CSM platform presentations.  Our interest in this area has expanded to collaborations with a variety of PT colleagues from around the country resulting in a publication in PTJ entitled, “The Intersection of Movement and Clinical Reasoning: Embodying ‘Body as a Teacher’ to Advance the Profession and Practice”.

Dr. Hayes on a recent backpacking trip (a favorite pastime).
Researcher Spotlight is a regular feature that highlights faculty research in the Saint Louis University Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training.  

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