Kimberly P. Hreha, EdD, OTR/L, Assistant Professor, Division of Rehabilitation Sciences
Research Areas: Rehabilitation outcomes, stroke, intervention studies, implementation, vision
Mentor: Kenneth J. Ottenbacher, PhD, OTR
To date, Dr. Hreha’s research has centered on post-stroke neurological vision impairments and spatial neglect deficits. Her past research has included improving outcome measurement tools and testing interventions in underserved populations and using different research methods. Now serving as a co-investigator of the ITS-CTSA Stroke Implementation Science Multidisciplinary Translational Team (MTT), she will expand her research to study age related vision conditions, such as macular degeneration and glaucoma. Visual impairment, neurological or age related, can negatively affect quality of life and functional independence as well as increase individuals’ risk for falls, depression, and medical costs. Those living in the community with visual impairment are encouraged to monitor their eye health, participate in rehabilitative treatments, learn strategies for continued safety, and follow eye medication regimes. There are effective vision self-management programs however; these empirical studies have been conducted on well elderly. Stroke survivors may have unique needs that cannot be adequately addressed with the current programs. The implementation of a stroke specific vision self-management program for community dwelling stroke survivors, living with visual impairment is essential. Dr. Hreha and the MTT research team plan to determine the feasibility of stroke specific self-management programs using a randomized controlled trial in community-dwelling participants.
Dr. Hreha will also utilize secondary analysis of Medicare claims data as a second line of research. She will focus her current investigations among Medicare beneficiaries who have experienced a stroke. Dr. Hreha is interested in determining prevalence and variation of vision impairments across post-acute Medicare beneficiaries. Lastly, she intends to explore health disparities among this cohort across the United States to look for regional trends.
UTMB Research Expert Profile for Dr. Hreha