Timothy Hanke, P.T., Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Midwestern University
College of Health Sciences
Physical Therapy Program
Alumni Hall 340D
555 31st St.
Downers Grove, IL 60515

Office: (630) 515-7218
e-mail: thanke@midwestern.edu


B.S. Physical Therapy Marquette University
M.S. Neuromuscular Control Northwestern University
Ph.D. Kinesiology University of Connecticut


Alterations in movement function, whether due to aging or neuromuscular disease or injury is, broadly-speaking, the focus of my work. I'm particularly interested in understanding relationships between domains of functioning (body structures/functioning, activity, participation) in order to assist in treatment decisions in fall prevention and neurological rehabilitation. I view these issues from a complex systems perspective using the works of Herbert Simon (Simon H, 1962 The architecture of complexity) Nikolai Bernstein (Bernstein, N.A. 1967 The co-ordination and regulation of movements) and J.J. Gibson (Gibson, J.J. 1986 The ecological approach to visual perception) to inform how I approach constraints on movement function and dysfunction. The research questions are addressed through the scholarship of discovery and the scholarship of integration.

Research projects

Project I: Clinical Practice Guideline Development. Falls represent a major healthcare problem. Multi-factorial interventions are needed to decrease fall risk and number of falls. Physical therapy - specific clinical practice guidelines presently do not exist for the problem of falls in community - dwelling older adults.  I am presently the lead author of Physical Therapy Management of Falls in Community-Dwelling Older Adults: An Evidence-based Clinical Practice Guideline from the American Physical Therapy Association and Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy. Our intention is to provide specific intervention guidelines for the physical therapy professional. This project, funded by the APTA and Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy, runs from 2014-2018.

Project II: Community Mobility in Persons Post-stroke. To measure participation in life roles, one must use methods that capture the relevant observables germane to the ecological scale. Community mobility is a means by which participation can be measured. GPS technology offers the ability to detect both the amount of community mobility and the context of community mobility with respect to navigating to important places and events in a person's life. This navigation reflects participation goals of the individual (e.g., social, cultural, occupational). We are presently using GPS Technology to track participation in persons post-stroke immediately after physical rehabilitation and up to the first year following stroke.

Project III:  Internal and External Constraints on Stepping and Walking. My work examines the age-related changes to postural control and stepping performance under time-critical stepping conditions in younger, middle-aged, and older adults with and without a history of falls. Biomechanical techniques are used to understand how posture (via the body center of mass motion) and movement (via the stepping limb motion and forces) are coordinated. The long - term goal is to provide directives for therapeutic interventions to reduce the number of falls in community - dwelling older adults. Lastly, I, along with several DPT students, are investigating the effects of changes in body structures and function on perception during walking. 

Selected Publications

AlHuthaifi F, Krzak J, Hanke T, Vogel LC. Predictors of Functional Outcomes in Adults with Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury Following Inpatient Rehabilitation: A Systematic Review. The Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine. 2016 Published online: 17 Nov 2016.  http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10790268.2016.1238184?journalCode=yscm20

Avin K, Hanke TA, Kirk-Sanchez N, McDonough C, Shubert T, Hardage J, Hartley G. Management of Falls in Community-dwelling Older Adults: A Clinical Guidance Statement from the Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy of the American Physical Therapy Association. Physical Therapy 2015 Jun;95(6):815-34.  https://academic.oup.com/ptj/article-lookup/doi/10.2522/ptj.20140415

Sungsoon H, Hanke TA, Evans C. Automated Extraction of Community Mobility Measures from GPS Stream Data Using Temporal DBSCAN. Computational Science and its Applications - ICCSA 2013: Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Volume 7972, pp 86-98. http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-642-39643-4_7

Evans C, Hanke TA, Zielke D, Monitoring community mobility with global positioning system technology after a stroke: A case report. Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy. 2012; 36:68-78.

Hanke TA, Tiberio D. Lateral rhythmic unipedal stepping in younger, middle-aged and older adults. Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy. 2006; 29;1:20-25.

Aruin AS, Hanke TA, Sharma A. Base of support feedback in gait rehabilitation.  International Journal of Rehabilitation Research. 2003; 26:309-312.

Rogers MW, Kukulka CG, Brunt D, Cain TD, Hanke TA. The influence of stimulus cue on the initiation of stepping in young and older adults. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.  2001; 82: 619-624.

Rogers MW, Hedman LD, Johnson ME, Cain TD, Hanke TA. Lateral stability during forward-induced stepping for dynamic balance recovery in young and older adults. Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences.  2001; 56A(9): M589-M594.

Aruin AS, Hanke TA, Chaudhuri G, Harvey R, Rao N.  Compelled weight bearing in patients with hemiparesis following stroke: Effect of a lift insert and goal-directed balance exercise.  Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development.  2000; 37(1): 65-72.