Laura Zdziarski

Laura Zdziarski with the President of the National Athletic Trainers' Association
Laura Zdziarski with Dean Kleinschmidt, head Athletic Trainer for the Detroit Lions, former PFATS president, and NATA Hall of Fame member

Tell us about your research interests

More than two-thirds of the American population is overweight or obese. Additionally, about 2.8 million American’s sustain orthopaedic traumas annually. It has been reported that these special populations independently suffer from increased levels of depression, anxiety as well as decreased levels of physical function. However, there is limited consensus as to how obese individuals respond to orthopaedic insults. Moreover, these orthopaedic traumas that produce both psychological and physical injuries are not yet being treated holistically. My research is focusing on an integrated care approach and early mobilization to address the psychological and physical limitations encountered by obese orthopaedic trauma patients. Our goal is to improve patient quality of life through improved emotional wellbeing, perceived functional ability, and actual physical function.

How has your experience in the Rehabilitation Science program and what have you enjoyed most about the program

With not only a vast diversity of research fields but also ethnic and cultural backgrounds, the Rehabilitation Science program has allowed me to grow in a multitude of facets. I have had opportunities to explore a variety of topical interests as well as be exposed to a variety of researchers from across the globe. This diversity within the program has opened my eyes as to how different fields (muscle cell biology to human biomechanics) can collaborate to formulate robust investigations focused on rehabilitation and preventing the disease process. The thing that I have enjoyed the most about the program is that no two students’ paths are alike for achieving their doctoral degree. The program allows me to customize many of my classes or tailor my course work to what is interesting and pertinent to my doctorate/future. This has helped because I can focus on what things I am passionate about and want to learn more about. This has been extremely important to me and I think is what makes the innovation and collaboration within our program possible.

Can you provide a summary of awards and publications you have received

  1. National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) Foundation Doctoral Research Grant: “Incorporating Athletic Trainers into an Orthopaedic Trauma Care Team to Improve Patient’s Functional and Emotional Quality of Life”. Zdziarski LA (PI) August 2015-2017
  2. PM&R Foundation Grant – A patient-centered transformative coaching approach to improve participation in rehabilitation and functional quality of life after orthopedic trauma. This RCT will determine the effects of a coaching program on patient-centered outcomes after an orthopedic injury. Role: Co-I
  3. University of Florida Graduate Student Council Travel Award – May 2015
  4. “Dean Kleinschmidt Graduate Student Scholarship”- NATA Research & Education Foundation – June 2013
  5. DuBose D, Connoly S, Hatzel B, et al. Motion Created in an Unstable Cervical Spine During the Removal of a Football Helmet: Comparison of Techniques. Athl Train Sports Health Care. 2015;7(6).
  6. Vincent HK, Chen C, Zdziarski LA, Montes J, Vincent KR. Shooting motion in high school, collegiate and professional men’s lacrosse players. Sports Biomechanics. May 2015
  7. Zdziarksi LA,* Chen C, Horodyski M, Vincent KR, Vincent HK. Kinematic, Cardiopulmonary, and Metabolic responses in Overweight Runners while Running at Different Speeds. The Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  8. Zdziarski LA, Wasser JG, Vincent HK. Chronic Pain Management in the Obese Patient: Challenges and Solutions. In press. Journal of Pain Research. Feb. 2015.
  9. Zdziarski LA, Vincent KR. Clinical PEARL: It’s NOT the Gastrocnemius, Soleus, or Achilleus… What could it be? A Plantaris Muscle Injury. In Press. Current Sports Medicine Reports. 2015.
  10. Vincent HK, Percival S, Creasy R, Alexis D, Seay AN, Zdziarksi LA, Macmillan M, Vincent KR. (2014) Acute Effects of Enhanced Eccentric and Concentric Resistance Exercise on Metabolism and Inflammation. J Nov Physiother 4: 200 doi:10.4172/2165-7025.1000200
  11. Vincent HK, Zdziarksi LA, Vincent KR. State-of-the-evidence synopsis of lacrosse-related musculoskeletal injuries in high school and collegiate players. In press, Sports Health. Sept 2014.