10-week study on wellness

The Center for Research on Women with Disabilities is looking for women who have had a spinal cord injury for at least a year and have access to a high-speed internet connection to participate in a 10-week study on wellness. Topics will include self-care, dealing with negative thoughts, building healthy relationships and sexuality.

And here’s the twist: The study will take place virtually via the Second Life online role-playing world. “Second Life gives a feeling of embodied interaction,” says lead researcher Margaret Nosek, Ph.D., a quad who uses a vent. Her research team has used this platform for years, since it allows people who can’t meet in person to create an avatar and meet virtually in a pleasing online setting. “It’s interesting to watch how they choose to create their avatars — if they use a wheelchair or how close it is to their real-life body. In most cases it’s very different. I know mine is.”

Enrollment takes place through August. For more info, email Zest@Memorialhermann.org or call 713/797-7570. A small payment is offered for participation.