Rehabilitation Research

The Rehabilitation program is motivated to improve the outcomes of children requiring rehabilitation services through research and innovation.

Staff are involved at all levels of research. Our programs focus on fostering a partnership with key stakeholders within and outside our institution.

Current Research Projects

Outcomes Following Inpatient Rehabilitation for Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury

The goal of the proposed project is to identify functional impairments in children with pediatric traumatic brain injury after discharge from an inpatient rehabilitation unit and determine if characteristics of children’s status during their inpatient stay are useful in predicting long-term recovery.

Principal Investigators: Christine Koterba, PhD & Jennifer Lundine, PhD

Questions: Please email OR

Animal-Assisted Therapy in Pediatric Rehabilitation

The goal of the proposed project is to collect pilot data regarding the efficacy and safety of animal-assisted therapy on the Nationwide Children's pediatric rehabilitation unit.

Principal Investigator: Jennifer Lundine, PhD; Co-Investigators: Christine Koterba, PhD & Meghan Herron, DVM (The Ohio State University)

Questions: Please email


If you are interested in volunteering to be a participant in one of our rehab research studies, any study that is currently recruiting is listed below.

TBI Rehab Outcomes Study

In the TBI REHAB OUTCOMES STUDY, we will follow up with children who received inpatient care for a traumatic brain injury at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. We want to see how the children we’ve treated are doing now, and find out if any have unmet needs.

  • The study will involve caregiver surveys and a brief follow-up interview.
  • If your child is 8 or older, we will also ask him/her to complete surveys. These can be completed at home using online or paper surveys and a phone call interview, or the study team can meet with you in person. The surveys should take about 40 minutes for the caregiver and 15 minutes for the child, and the interview will take about 15 minutes.
  • Parents and children who participate in the study will be compensated for their time.


Your family may be eligible to participate in this study if your child is between the ages of 6-17 years old and received care Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit at Nationwide Children’s Hospital for a TBI that they obtained at least 1 year ago.

Learn More

To find out more about this study, Kerry Orton at (614) 578-0229 or

Publications, Presentations & Additional Resources

Recent Team Publications

 Haarbauer-Krupa, J., Lundine, J.P., DePompei, R., & King, T. (2018). Rehabilitation and school services following traumatic brain injury in young children. NeuroRehabilitation, 42(3), 259-267. Doi: 10.3233/NRE-172410

  • This paper describes families’ experience with service access following traumatic brain injury (TBI). Data from a study with 80 participants demonstrated that there is not a systematic continuum of care for children with TBI injured before they enter elementary school. Healthcare professionals in contact with young children can help with follow-up by educating parents about TBI effects on learning.

Lundine, J.P., Harnish, S.M., McCauley, R.J., Zezinka, A., Schwen Blackett, D., & Fox, R.A. (2018). Exploring summarization differences for two types of expository discourse in adolescents with TBI. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 27(1), 247-57. Doi:10.1044/2017_AJSLP-16-0131

  • This paper describes a study where five adolescents with traumatic brain injury (TBI) summarized two types of academic lectures and participated in cognitive and expressive language testing. Their performance was compared to that of 50 adolescents with typical development. Results showed that students with TBI, particularly those with cognitive challenges, struggled with academic discourse, despite having average expressive language abilities. This study reinforces the need for research exploring how students with TBI perform on academically relevant discourse tasks in order to inform future assessment and intervention efforts.

Recent Team Presentations

  • Miller, T. (March, 2018). Unconscious bias in therapeutic recreation. Presented at the Utah Recreation Therapy Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • Lundine, J.P. & Ciccia, A. H. (October, 2018). This is real life: The pediatric TBI-experience as reported by survivors, caregivers, and medical professionals. Symposium presented at the American College of Rehabilitation Medicine Annual Conference, Dallas, Texas.
  • Lundine, J.P. & Koterba, C. (October, 2018). Rehab goes to the dogs: Animal-assisted therapy in pediatric rehabilitation. Symposium presented at the American College of Rehabilitation Medicine Annual Conference, Dallas, Texas.
  • Haarbauer-Krupa, J., Lundine, J.P., DePompei, R., & King, T. (September, 2018). Do preschool children receive follow-up services after traumatic brain injury? Presented at the Third International Conference on Paediatric Acquired Brain Injury, Belfast, N. Ireland.
  • Ciccia, A.H. & Lundine, P. (November, 2018). Using stakeholder experience to improve care for children with brain injury. Presented at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association annual convention. Boston, MA.