PA Student’s Poster Accepted for National AAPA Conference

By Ryan Clark
CHS Communications Director

Lucy Bowers, PA-S, a second-year Physician Assistant Studies student in the Class of 2025, recently had her research poster accepted for the national American Academy of Physician Associates conference in May.

The poster, entitled, “Early Psychosocial Factors Predict Physical Function and Return to Work Status at a Two Year Follow up After a Lower Extremity Fracture,” focuses on the significant amount of patients with a lower extremity fracture who are unable to return to their prior level of function at their occupation.

“Few studies have evaluated early factors in recovery associated with the ability to return to work,” Bowers said. “The purpose of this study was to determine if early psychosocial screening predicted ability to Return to Work and self-reported physical function 24-months after a lower extremity fracture that required surgical fixation.”

Bowers said the study focused on 177 subjects with lower extremity fractures that required a surgical fixation. Six weeks and three months after definitive surgical fixation, patients completed the Pain Catastrophizing Scale, Pain Self-Efficacy Questionnaire, and Patient Reported Outcome Measurement Information System Depression. Demographic and injury characteristics were extracted from the patient’s medical records, and at 24-months, participants completed the Cincinnati Occupational Rating Scale and PROMIS Physical Function. 

Results showed that pain self-efficacy scores at six-weeks and three-months were predictive of lower CORS and physical function 24-months after the lower extremity fracture. 

“These results highlight the potential that addressing self-efficacy early in recovery could have on a patient’s long-term work and functional outcomes,” said, Bowers, a 26-year-old native of Granger, Ind. 

Bowers, who also graduated with an undergraduate degree in Human Health Sciences, says her research interests include: Orthopaedic Surgery, as well as psychosocial factors following a lower extremity injury.

Upon graduation, she hopes to practice in Orthopaedic Surgery and continue conducting research.

She said she’s looking forward to making the trip to the conference, which will be held in Houston, Texas.

“It is an amazing feeling to have research accepted, especially to a national conference,” she said. “I am very excited to present down in Houston, at AAPA, to highlight the work that has been done.”