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General Information

The primary purpose of the CCPR is to provide the organizational structure, administrative leadership and other necessary infrastructure to facilitate clinical and basic research in cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation, disease management and health. Cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation are burgeoning areas of clinical care and research. Summa Health System has a vibrant rehab program with a significant component of research that has validated its innovative clinical care practices. Much of this work has been done in conjunction with resident training programs at Summa as well as graduate students and faculty from the University of Akron, Kent State University, The University of Youngstown and Case Western University. Prior work through this core lab has resulted in doctoral dissertations, publications and presentations at local, national, and international meetings. Resident physician research projects have been a consistent function of the core lab since its inception. Cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation is of enormous clinical benefit to members of the Akron community and supports the overall mission and clinical services of both the Center for Cardiopulmonary Research and Summa Health System.

Areas of Interest:

Specific areas of research focus include:

  • resource utilization and clinical outcomes in cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation,
  • psychosocial adaptation to cardiopulmonary illness, physiologic changes and exercise capacity during the rehabilitation process,
  • baseline psychological function in rehabilitation participants,
  • evaluation of quality of life survey instruments (SF-36 and SF-12),
  • innovative exercise prescription and progression through the use of graphic electronic clinical interfaces (which has recently resulted in the submission of a patent application for Summa),
  • adult health literacy and educational curriculum design, neuro-cognitive function and weight loss among obese cardiac rehabilitation participants.

It is important to note that the CCR’s activities extend beyond cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation to related areas of cardiovascular health such as heart failure, patients treated with implantable cardiac defibrillator, psychosocial and cognitive factors in heart disease, and hypertension. Although we continue to believe that cardiopulmonary rehabilitation is critical to addressing the public health problem of cardiopulmonary disease, research in overlapping areas is necessary to fully contextualize rehabilitation in the healthcare system and to demonstrate the centrality of rehabilitation in our nation’s integrated approach to preventing and treating cardiopulmonary disease. Due to this expansion of focus in recent years, it is the goal of the members of the CCPR to expand its operational scope in 2009 and subsequent years in order to support researchers in all areas of cardiopulmonary medicine and associated fields here at Summa and collaborating academic institutions.