Institute on Disability and Health Psychology Announces Collaboration with Cerebral Palsy Center for the Bay Area.

San Francisco, CA: The Institute on Disability and Health Psychology (IDHP) will partner with the Cerebral Palsy Center for the Bay Area to conduct outcome research on the effectiveness of the Center's wellness interventions, which include massage, yoga, Feldenkrais and acupressure.

IDHP Executive Director Dr. Rhoda Olkin, a Distinguished Professor in the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant, will launch the study IDHP Associate Director and Professor Diane Zelman will launch the study in March. The study, entitled Wellness Program Practitioners and Consumers, will focus on individuals with intellectual disabilities, most of whom also have cerebral palsy and/or other developmental disabilities, the study will evaluate complementary medicine practitioners' and consumers' perceptions of the active effects of their interventions.

This unique venture is the first collaboration of its kind for both organizations. At least five affiliated community agencies who work with individuals with developmental and acquired cognitive disabilities have indicated interest in joining the research collaboration.

Commented Dr. Olkin, "Individuals with developmental disabilities are an underserved population, and wellness interventions can have a significant impact on their quality of life."

"For these individuals, these interventions can reduce pain and fatigue, and increase relaxation, day to day independence and sense of well being, says Dr. Zelman. "But almost no large-scale research on the use of wellness interventions exists for this population."

Nancy Rosenberg, Executive Director of the Cerebral Palsy Center, says, "This collaboration is great for us; we need the data, and the University has the evaluation skills."

Maureen Berndt of the Cerebral Palsy Center adds that they are excited to show concrete outcomes of the work of their practitioners. This work will help further the mission of the Cerebral Palsy Center, which is to identify the unmet needs of and provide services for persons with cerebral palsy and other developmental disabilities and help them to achieve their individual goals and aspirations.

The results of this study will be presented at the American Pain Society's annual meeting in May 2008.

For More Information

* Institute on Disability and Health Psychology
* Cerebral Palsy Center for the Bay Area
* Dr. Olkin's faculty webpage
* Dr. Zelman's faculty webpage

About Alliant International University

An independent, not-for-profit institution of higher education, Alliant International University is lauded for student diversity and prides itself on preparing students for professional careers distinguished by problem-solving and multicultural competence. Alliant's mission calls for applying professional practice expertise and scholarship to resolve individual, community and societal challenges in the face of increasing diversity and globalism. Ratings from a number of independent publications and organizations underscore Alliant International University's unique background and outlook. Alliant has been rated:

* #1 in international diversity among national doctoral universities - US News & World Report, Aug. 2006
* #6 in awarding doctorates to minority women - Diverse Magazine, 2006
* #14 in doctorates to minorities (all disciplines combined) - Diverse Magazine, 2006
* Top 10 for doctoral faculty productivity Specialized Research Universities - Business, Education, & Social Sciences - Academic Analytics, 2007
* #10 in overall campus diversity - US News & World Report, Aug. 2006

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