OHDSI Rehabilitation Working Group: promoting better rehabilitation care 

The second OHDSI Working Group meeting took place on 21 March 2024. This meeting is a monthly gathering of passionate rehabilitation scientists joining from all over the world. Led by PREPARE consortium partners, the meeting was chaired by Esther Janssen (Radboudumc) and moderated by Ruud Selles (Erasmus MC). Selles commenced with a description of the proposal mission of the OHDSI Rehabilitation Working Group, along with the specific goals and objectives for 2024.  

The mission of the OHDSI Rehabilitation Working Group is to promote better rehabilitation care by leveraging the OHDSI collaborative to enable large scale observational rehabilitation research. The objectives are as follows: 

  • Objective 1: create awareness of OHDSI in rehabilitation research and build a learning community.
  • Objective 2: Identify challenges and find best practices in using OMOP-CDM for rehabilitation research data.
  • Objective 3: Initiate a StudyAthon as a proof of concept for the value of the OHDSI in rehabilitation science.

Maggie French and Paul Hartman, researchers from the University of Utah, presented their experiences with mapping measures of patient functioning and quality of life. They highlighted that some of these measures are easily mapped, but others are difficult to classify. Moreover, experts do not always agree on how to map them. Currently, about half of the neurologic and orthopaedic measures they evaluated could not be yet mapped to OMOP-CDM, indicating that the OMOP-CDM needs further development . For more context on the OHDSI open-source framework, refer to this blog

Lastly, Rob Cavanaugh, a clinical speech-language pathologist who is currently a Health Research Data Analyst at the Roux Institute and the OHDSI Center at Northeastern University, presented his work. Cavanaugh conducts rehabilitation research with two accessible OMOP datasets and showed that he could efficiently reproduce early research on the dose of aphasia treatment received by stroke patients in the U.S., displaying that therapy is generally grossly underdosed. His research highlighted how helpful the OMOP-CDM can be in analysing real world clinical data, but that the current classification of rehabilitation interventions in speech therapy need to be further improved to allow more reliable and detailed evidence. 

The discussion closed with a panel where WG members discussed the possible ways the OHDSI Rehabilitation WG could move forward. The WG meetings take place every last Thursday of the month. Are you an expert interested in joining? Calls will be posted on the OHDSI website: Upcoming Workgroup Calls – OHDSI.