FOTO Data Request for Research Purposes

FOTO database contains clinical data from clinics in rehabilitation settings, nursing home (skilled nursing area) and adult day-care settings that participate within the FOTO network.

Data collection and sample have been described in many publications (see Citations for FOTO Database). Briefly, patients seeking rehabilitation entered demographic data and completed self-report surveys using a computer software developed by FOTO (Knoxville, TN, USA) prior to initial evaluation and therapy. The web based computer surveys for measuring patient self-report functional status (FS) outcomes are administered using the computerized adaptive testing (CAT) and/or paper and pencil surveys were administered at admission prior to or during the initial evaluation and were administered again at status and discharge.

Care types include orthopedic, industrial, pain management, neurological, speech, wound, cardiovascular and pulmonary, and pelvic floor dysfunction.  More detailed descriptions are available here.

Impaired body parts include shoulder, upper arm, elbow, forearm, wrist, hand, pelvis, hip, upper leg, knee, lower leg, ankle, foot, craniofacial, neck, ribs-trunk, thoracic spine, and lumbar spine.

Impairment Categories (see here) are gathered for orthopedic, neurological,  speech, wound, cardiovascular and pulmonary, and pelvic floor dysfunction.  Orthopedic, Industrial, and Pain Management Care Types are usually classified with an impaired body part.  The exception to this is when the patient has an impairment that does not localize to one area of the body – a fibromyalgia patient, for example.  In that circumstance, an impairment category can be selected instead of a body part. If desired, both a body part and impairment category can be selected as well.  All other Care Types just include an Impairment Category (no body part should be selected).

In addition to FS measures, FOTO also provides optional surveys. Complete information on all optional surveys currently available can be found here.

Demographic variables in FOTO’s Outcomes Manager include (but not limit to) age, gender, acuity, number of surgery, surgery type, exercise history, impairment description, impaired body parts, ICD-9, medicine use (yes or no), functional comorbidity index, payer source, referral source, duration, number of visits.

How to Request Data for Research Purpose(s)

Here are the guidelines for investigators who are interested in obtaining and analyzing FOTO data for research purposes:

Step 1. Initial contact with Mark Werneke PT, MS, Dip. MDT ( to briefly discuss the PI’s research project and to indicate what FOTO data are of interest. Of importance, each data item(s) being requested in “Addendum A. Proposed Research Use of FOTO Data” must be clearly justified and adequately supported by the aims of the research project.  In addition, “Data Year” selection in Category B Addendum A must also be justified and supported by the aims of the research project.  Failure to state and justify why items or data years are being requested will result in immediate rejection and the application will be returned to the PI for revisions.  

Step 2. Submit the following documents to Mark Werneke:

  1. Outcomes Research Letter of Agreement
  2. Addendum A: Proposed Research Use of FOTO Data
  3. Addendum B: Specific Data Request/Description: What type of data are you requesting? Please select all relevant options. 
  4. IRB documents submitted to the institute’s IRB office
  5. IRB approval letter (An IRB approval will be required before FOTO data can be released.)

Step 3. The data request will be reviewed by members in the FOTO Research Advisory Board (FRAB).  This review process may take up to 1 month to complete. 

Step 4. If there is no concerns regarding the data request, data request will be forwarded to the IT department for data merging.  If multiple research requests are received, all requests will be chronologically ordered in a data request cue.  The time frame for PI to receive data will vary depending on the number of data requests being processed. 

Step 5. The PI will be notified when the data merging is completed. Data will be forwarded to the PI.