Gail L. Widener, PhD, PT
, is a professor at the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, California. She completed her BSPT at Texas Women’s University and her PhD in physiology (emphasis in neurophysiology) at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Dr. Widener teaches physiology, neurophysiology, and the physical therapy management of persons with multiple sclerosis to entry-level physical therapy students and to physical therapy neurological residents. She wrote the chapter on multiple sclerosis in Umphred’s Neurological Rehabilitation, Sixth Edition
, and has been a professional member of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Northern California Chapter’s Clinical Advisory Committee for more than 15 years. Dr. Widener also teaches community courses for people with multiple sclerosis who have issues with balance and falling.
Diane D. Allen, PhD, PT, is a professor at the Graduate Program in Physical Therapy at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)/San Francisco State University. She completed her bachelor’s degree and certificate in physical therapy at UCSF, a master’s degree with a neuromuscular emphasis at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, a PhD in education (emphasis on quantitative measurement and evaluation) at the University of California, Berkeley, and a postdoctoral fellowship in rehabilitation measurement at Boston University. Dr. Allen specializes in tests and measures and neurorehabilitation, has coauthored a chapter on balance disorders and fall risk in Physical Rehabilitation Assessment and Intervention: An Evidence-Based Approach, and has published other studies related to outcome measures in neurological and outpatient populations. Dr. Allen received funding from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) for her pilot study Mind the Gap – Targeting Differences in Patients’ Current and Preferred Abilities, in which she compared patient perceptions of their movement abilities with the clinicians’ emphases in therapy, noting that lack of agreement can lead to suboptimal outcomes.
Gail L. Widener and Diane D. Allen have been working with people with multiple sclerosis for more than 20 years and perform clinical research with this population. They have collaborated in writing a chapter on tone abnormalities in Physical Agents in Rehabilitation, now in its fourth edition. They have helped coauthor six peer-reviewed published articles, received grants from the California Physical Therapy Fund and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and have been co-principal investigators on a project funded by the National Institutes of Health studying the response of people with multiple sclerosis to balance-based torso-weighting.