Medical Rehabilitation Research Advisory Board provides input to Blue Ribbon Panel

Panel’s mission includes developing a more refined definition of rehabilitation research across NIH

The Advisory Board on Medical Rehabilitation Research met on December 12 and discussed the progress of the NIH Blue Ribbon Panel on Medical Rehabilitation Research. John Chae, one of the Co-Chairs of the Panel, explained that its mission includes developing a more refined definition of rehabilitation research across NIH, assessing if the National Center for Medication Rehabilitation Research (NCMRR) is achieving its goals, tracking where the approximately $400 million in rehabilitation research is being spent across a number of Institutes, determining if NIH is covering the full scope of rehabilitation research, identifying future scientific opportunities and improving coordination across Institutes. As the definition used by the NIH’s Research, Condition and Disease Categorization (RCDC) Process includes a broader scope of rehabilitation research from substance abuse to Alzheimer’s and dementia, a more accurate definition is being developed for the purposes of the Panel. NCMRR Board members discussed the need to modify the definition to include research across the lifespan, comorbidities such as pain, psychosocial, cognitive and emotional issues, and how to include prevention in the scope of NIH’s rehabilitation research.

The Blue Ribbon Panel is expected to finish its report to NICHD Director Alan Guttmacher and NIH Director Francis Collins in June.