Dr. Jessica Kramer is a TREAT Client and an Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy and Rehabilitative Sciences at Boston University. Dr. Kramer’s interests center around the involvement of children with disabilities in research and intervention planning, the development of theory-based assessments and interventions, and disability rights and culture. Dr. Kramer is also partnering with youth with disabilities to develop an accessible self-report version of the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (PEDI), referred to as the PEDI-PRO (patient reported outcome).
Jessica Kramer is not a novice when it comes to designing assessments for occupational therapy and rehabilitation practice. Since her graduate studies at University of Illinois at Chicago, Dr. Kramer has used best practices in measurement development to ensure assessments measure concepts that are meaningful to clients and therapists. Many assessments that Dr. Kramer has authored are distributed internationally. However, it wasn’t until Dr. Kramer had the opportunity to complete TREAT’s Technology Market Assessment educational modules that she used a systematic approach to prospectively defining her market and incorporating market considerations during the initial assessment design.
The field of knowledge translation (KT) has highlighted the gaps between research and practice. An important component of KT is identifying barriers to adoption. It’s well documented that barriers to the adoption of new assessments include the time needed to administer and interpret, availability of training, and regulations governing the secure collection of client data. Market assessment, specifically, customer discovery, is an approach that can help researchers close the gap between research and practice by identifying the needs, demands, and requirements of assessment adopters.
To address the gap between research and practice, Dr. Kramer partnered with TREAT to gain a deeper understanding of how those market demands could impact future adoption of a new patient reported outcome measurement software designed specifically to meet the accessibility needs of youth with developmental disabilities, the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory- Patient Reported Outcome (PEDI-PRO).Dr. Kramer and research assistant, occupational therapy graduate student Adam Swatt, with the support and pilot funding from TREAT, completed a customer discovery process for the PEDI-PRO.
Dr. Kramer started the customer discovery by conducting key informant interviews with five clinicians and rehabilitation managers working in schools, hospital systems, and private clinics. They then conducted focus groups at three national rehabilitation conferences with 15 clinicians and researchers to further clarify the policy, administrative, client, and professional environments that impact the adoption of new technology and assessments. Using the results of the interviews and focus groups, Dr. Kramer and Mr. Swatt developed a survey to learn more about the needs, demands, and requirements that must be considered prior to commercialization. One hundred and forty-five clinicians (occupational therapists, physicians, physical therapists, physicians) responded to the survey. From this survey, the team learned about the features that were crucial to incorporate into the PEDI-PRO to support adoption. The team also learned how different market segments (e.g., schools vs. hospital systems) have different needs and requirements.
Dr. Kramer felt the market assessment played an important role in directing her future work on the PEDI-PRO, stating, “Although we had made progress developing and evaluating the PEDI-PRO, the TREAT pilot grant funding provided us with the time and resources to complete an in-depth customer discovery process and market assessment. The information we gained complimented what we were learning in our research, and provided a deeper understanding of how to support adoption into practice. Although the PEDI-PRO is designed to be used across a range of pediatric practice contexts, the market assessment helped me identify the market that is most likely to be the first adopter of PEDI-PRO software. This information further informs our research priorities and efforts by helping us decide what software platform to use and the types of training materials we develop, such as case examples. Developing an assessment that caters to the market may lead to early adoption, resulting in more youth with developmental disabilities having an opportunity to be active participants in planning their rehabilitation services and evaluating the outcomes of those services.”
For more information about Dr. Kramer and her lab visit: