Letter from the Editors

Dear Readers,

Welcome to Issue 4 of rehabINK! I was honoured to step in to the position of Editor-in-Chief in September 2017. In this role, I bring together my journalism training, my clinical experience, and my understanding of rehabilitation science research to push forward the innovation of our magazine.

A Brief History of rehabINK

It is surreal to think that only three years ago, rehabINK did not yet exist. In 2015, the Director of the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute, Dr. Angela Colantonio, approached some of the ‘movers and shakers’ in the student body with the idea for a student-run publication. Tian Renton, the previous Editor-in-Chief, formed a small but dedicated group of graduate students who took Dr. Colantonio’s idea, moved it online, packaged it with a hip name and logo, and transformed it into rehabINK.

Since then, rehabINK has continued to expand its reach to share interesting rehabilitation science stories, news, and innovations with a broad audience. When Ivan Semeniuk, science journalist at The Globe and Mail met with our editorial team last January, he discussed the lack of independent, science-focused publications in Canada. Armed with this knowledge, rehabINK aimed to fill that niche. Over the past year, we have evolved into an innovative “hybrid” – combining the academic standards of the scientific publishing process (e.g., double-blind peer review), with the science journalism goals of timeliness, interest, and readability.

We will continue to experiment by combining journalistic and academic elements in future issues. We intend to meet this goal in a number of ways. First, we will add more interviews with scientists and citizens in profiles and stories of first-hand experiences. Second, we aim to produce stories in other media formats such as podcasts, video, and photography. Most importantly, we will continue to hone our own editing style and abilities so that we can share more of the stories and innovations from within rehabilitation science with Canadians and with readers around the world.

I hope you enjoy our current issue!

Denise DuBois, Editor-in-Chief

Exciting developments are happening in rehabilitation science. Issue 4 of rehabINK reflects much of the diversity and innovation in the field. Whether you are a rehab clinician or family caregiver, a stroke survivor or disability advocate, a rehabilitation news junkie (I dare to dream) or first-time rehabINK reader: I hope you find the articles illuminating and worth sharing.

As this issue’s Managing Editor, I along with rehabINK Editorial Team am proud to present this showcase of student-led work. We have enhanced our editorial process by implementing a double-blinded review protocol. This five stage review process has raised our publication standards by providing thorough article review and individualized author support. Our emphasis on developing student skills shows in the quality of the articles in this issue.

Article Spotlights

Issue 4 (Winter 2018) features articles which challenge current thinking on dementia research, explore the therapeutic use of music and dance, and highlight the emerging roles of rehabilitation professionals. In Reconsidering driving and community mobility in older adulthood: Moving beyond the medical model, you find a clinical vignette and learn how rehabilitation clinicians can support older adults in their driving and transportation needs. Stroke caregivers at risk for depression: Suggestions for rehabilitation professionals argues that informal caregivers need their mental health challenges and caregiver burden addressed by researchers and healthcare professionals.

Rehabilitation science graduate students are at the forefront of groundbreaking research and have written about cutting-edge therapies. Creating order from chaos: Walking on cue with rhythmic auditory stimulation presents new techniques in retraining gait after stroke, literally learning to walk to a different beat. In our feature faculty piece – The use of dance in post-stroke rehabilitation – Dr. Kara Patterson  presents her work which brings together dance and rehabilitation for adults with neurological conditions.

Although the science in some areas of rehabilitation is in its early stages, in other areas, the cumulative research evidence and public support are resulting in calls-to-action: the time is now. A pandemic crisis demands aggressive investment in comprehensive research: Current efforts to tackle dementia in Canada cites legislative support and emerging student work for increased dementia research funding. Bridging the residential crossroads for aging adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Ontario: A qualitative review suggests the bridging strategies outlined in recent interministerial guidelines for this vulnerable population may not go far enough in tackling long-term care options for older adults with IDD.

Finally, we should not forget that people are both behind the science and before the research. By this I mean that scientists and students are advancing the frontiers of discovery. But, persons with disabilities and citizens should also provide the motivation for ethical research. I will argue beyond arbitrary divisions and declare that the same person can be behind the science and before the research. Might we see more collaborations between scientists and citizens in future endeavours? Might we read more rehabilitation stories of citizen-led change such as Christoper Klodt’s in Unconquered: A parasport story with focus on the Invictus Games? As you read on, I hope you sense both the students behind the science and the individuals before the research.


Adora Chui, Issue 4 Managing Editor