Professional Expertise

Simulation, Serious Games, and Multimedia R&D

Scientific Director of Well-Being Literacy, Multimedia Health Literacy, Patient Education and Psychosocial Research (WeLL Program) at the DC VAMC and MHRI, Dr. Libin has been involved in simulation and multimedia research, clinical trials and medical education over the last 25 years. His work focused on multimedia applications for patient education, real-life simulation methodology, and video game-based role-playing techniques that have been proven effective in changing behavior and enhancing positive decision making in a variety of professional settings, including education, the military, and health care. Those efforts also address an identified gap between the variety of existing multimedia-based instruction and technology mediated learning systems and the number of reliable assessment algorithms. Results of the several innovative studies suggest that although the simulation-based training tools demonstrate partial effectiveness in improving learners’ decision-making capacity, a differential learner-oriented approach might be more effective and capable of synchronizing educational efforts with identifiable relevant individual factors such as socio-behavioral profile and professional background.

Health Services Research and Shared Decision-Making

Dr. Libin is part of research efforts of interdisciplinary teams working across healthcare, education, and multimedia technology. Dr. Libin conducted psychosocial research at the SCI Research Center at MedStar National Rehabilitation Network, which is part of the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) (2006-2013). To learn more about the work of the SCI Research Center, please click on this link.

Shared Decision-Making is the main focus of the project named Medical Health Care Ethics in Vulnerable Populations (MEDIC): Clinical Research through the Patient’s Eyes. The main goal of MEDIC, an Interdisciplinary Collaborative Pilot Project (ICPP) funded by the GHUCCTS, is to conduct an empirical study of ethical decision-making in medical research focusing initially on two, diverse populations with metabolic disorders treated at inpatient and outpatient clinics at two GHUCCTS institutions: Howard University Diabetes Clinic and Georgetown University Medical Center. The study explores the patient and health care provider decision-making process, as it manifests itself in perception of and attitudes toward informed consent including consenting procedures; benefits of research to the chronically ill community; and comprehension of regulatory issues that surround patients’ engagement with clinical research. The outcomes of the MEDIC pilot inform the development of a patient-oriented curriculum module (Medical Ethics in Vulnerable Populations) that can be part of translational research education implemented across both the GHUCCTS collaboration and the CTSA network. The insights MEDIC provides into how vulnerable populations view research and their participation in it is expressed in materials that help researchers do a better job of explaining their studies to vulnerable individuals and help those persons make more appropriate decisions about research participation.

Mental Health: Psychological Well-Being, Coping with Life Stressors, and Community Integration

Since 1991 Alexander is involved with mental health services and research. He led seminars on mental health assessment engaging hundreds of professionals with the methodology based on projective techniques implementing visual representation of psychological problems.

CyberAnthropology, Robotherapy, and Robotic Psychology

Dr. Libin’s work in Robotherapy and Robotic Psychology and CyberAnthropology, together with Dr. Elena Libin, resulted in his being acclaimed as an outstanding contributor to the assistive technology field and resulted in two chapters for the Encyclopedia of Applied Psychology (Oxford, 2005).

Health and Well-Being Literacy and Patient Education Research

Focus of health literacy and patient education research has been on developing and implementing educational models for both patients and care providers. The purpose of these efforts is to raise awareness among clinical investigators of the life experiences and tacit values of  patients with chronic health conditions, how those values may influence patients’   decision to participate in clinical studies, and how those values, undiscovered, may compromise the ethical conduct of a clinical study.

Effect of a Spinal Cord Injury Navigator on Pressure Ulcer Knowledge. Presented at the 2010 American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) conference.

Exercise self-efficacy in newly injured versus chronically injured persons with spinal cord injury. Presented at the 2010 American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) conference.

Use of Multimedia to Increase Functional Mobility and Knowledge in Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury. Presented at the 2010 American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) conference.

Use of Multimedia in Teaching Young Children About Living with a Spinal Cord Injury: A Case Study. Presented at the 2010 American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) conference.

Rehabilitation and Disability Studies

Dr. Libin’s research is centered on transitions from life-changing events such as spinal cord injury (SCI), traumatic brain injury (TBI), Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, or psychological trauma such as post-traumatic stress syndrome in military and returning combat veterans. He has published more than 75 papers in four languages. His development of research methodologies for rehabilitation and disability studies gives special attention to the complex issues surrounding research design and analytical methods for studies involving small sample sizes.

Research Methodology and Statistical Modeling

Dr. Libin has also conducted groundbreaking work in harnessing new technology, media, social networks and artificial intelligence (e.g. robots, avatars, and virtual patients) to create better research design. Committed to bridging the gap in world views between clinicians and researchers, Dr. Libin has developed research curricula for medical residents and actively participates in mentoring clinicians entering the research field.

Computerized Assessment of Individual Functioning: Behavioral, Cognitive, and Emotional

Since 1989 Alexander and Elena Libin, together with the team of programmers and instructional designers, developed computerized assessment systems to measure various individual functions for the purposes of personnel selection and medical diagnosis. Several such systems were commercialized (aka “Professional” and “The Mirror”) and acquired by academic and industry organizations.