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Spring 01- Summer 01

Spring 2001
Summer 2001

Spring - 2001

Title: "Development of Occupational Therapy Awareness Among Undergraduate Students Enrolled in a Pre-Medicine Education Program"

Author(s): Buckley, S., Darrough, C., Fawbush, L., and Zack, J.

Abstract: The purpose of this qualitative, action research study was to develop and effective program for raising awareness of occupational therapy among undergraduate students enrolled in a pre-medicine program by means of an education seminar. It was the researchers' hypothesis that correcting the problem of confusion about the role of OT among physicians through increasing their awareness will ultimately increase referrals to occupational therapy, and therefore, better the quality of life for these patients. A total of 22 individuals enrolled in pre-medicine programs from three undergraduate colleges and universities participated in the education seminar, and each participant completed pre-test questionnaires and either a post-test questionnaire or interview. The four researchers collaborated to determine common themes from participant responses. The results of the study indicate that providing an education seminar increased the general understanding of pre-medicine students regarding the role of occupational therapy and the unique services it offers. This led to an increase in perceived referrals to occupational therapy.

Year: Spring 2001

Keyword: awareness

Chair/Reader: Helen Speziale, EdD, RN/Christine Hischmann, MS, OTR/L

Presentation/Publication: Presented as a poster at the 2001 AOTA National Conference, Philadelphia, Pa.

Title: "A Qualitative Study of the Effects of Music on a Purposeful Client-Centered Activity"

Author(s): Benedetti, D., Hutchings, K., Lowe, J., Muehlbauer, B.

Abstract: The purpose of our study was to observe the effects that the presence of music has on the perception of success of an occupation based activity session at an Assisted Living Facility. The design for this study used a qualitative multiple case study method. Six older adults participated in craft and social groups both with music present and without music. The data that were collected on attention span used observation sheets with a grading scale. Interviews were conducted to determine the effects of music on perceived enjoyment and mood. Four out of six participants had an improvement in attention span when music was added to the craft and social groups. Additionally, the majority of those who participated in the social groups, along with some who participated in the craft groups, reported a positive effect on mood with music present. This study indicated that music has an effect on mood and attention span during the performance of craft and social groups. Continued studies examining the effect that music has on purposeful, client-centered activity will assist occupational therapists to make therapy more intrinsically gratifying, therefore enhancing the recovery process.

Year: Spring 2001

Keyword: music

Chair/Reader: Joseph A. Cipriani, EdD, OTR/L/Kim Alba-Perry, MS, OTR/L

Title: "Therapeutic Use of Music with a Coma Patient"

Author(s): Bianchi, B., Buss, J., Ferrante, G., Maguire, L., Renfer, J.

Abstract: This study examined a coma patient's physiological responses, specifically respiratory rate and eye flutters, while being stimulated with their favorite type of music as determined by the family of the subject. One subject was utilized for this study: a male in his late twenties who sustained the injury secondary to a motor vehicular accident. The subject was two weeks post injury and possessed stable vital signs. A single-subject case study design (ABA) was used to assess the subject's respiratory and eye flutter rate without intervention (A) and while being stimulated by the subject's favorite music (B). Music had a stimulating effect on the subject's eye flutter rate (p<.05), while it had a inhibitory effect on the subject's respiratory rat (p<.05). When the intervention was removed, respiratory rates increased and eye flutter rates decreased. In general the findings support the original hypothesis of the study as well as provide clinical implications for the use of auditory stimulation with patients of a lower functioning level, in adjunct to occupational therapy intervention.

Year: Spring 2001

Keyword: coma, music

Chair/Reader: Joseph A. Cipriani, EdD, OTR/L / Gwen Bartolacci, M.Ed., OTR/L

Title: "The Cross-Modal Processing of Stereognostic Information in Three-year Old Children"

Author(s): Floege, D., McCarty, L., Shellenberger, K., Wallis, A. and Wenger, A.

Abstract: Previous research has not conclusively determined the most appropriate method for testing stereognostic abilities in preschoolers. The objective of this study was to determine the accuracy of 3 year olds stereognostic abilities during explicit measure of testing, and to examine differences between simple and difficult paired discriminations. Thirty-four children, with a mean age of 41.8 months participated in a stereognostic test requiring the cross-modal transfer of tactile to visual input. The children performed significantly above chance levels in the stereognostic test, (p<.05) although no significant difference existed between the simple and difficult levels of discrimination. Findings indicate that explicit measures of recognition for stereognostic testing may be a reliable method for using with a 3 year old population.

Year: Spring 2001

Keyword: stereognosis, children

Chair/Reader: Ellen McLaughlin, EdD, OTR/L, BCP / Lalit Shah, Ed.D., OTR/L

Title: "Significance of Intertrial Rest Periods Using the JAMAR Hand Dynamometer"

Author(s): Stinsky, A., Masick, N., Newell, S., Nihill, A., and Talarico, E.

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine if different intertribal rest periods (15,60,90 seconds) significantly effect the reliability of grip strength scores using the JAMAR Hand Dynamometer. Sixty right-handed female college students were tested during 3 sessions using a within subjects design. During each session participants performed 3 grip strength trials, with a practice trail occurring on the first day. Significant differences were found for the 15 second intertribal rest period without practice (p<.0001). A post hoc analysis revealed significant differences between trials 1 and 2 (p=.031) and trials 1 and 3 (p.=.002), demonstrating declining grip strength scores. Results of this preliminary study support using a 60 second intertrial rest period with a practice trial to lessen fatigue effects and complete an evaluation in a feasible time frame.

Year: Spring 2001

Keyword: intertrial, JAMAR

Chair/Reader: Joseph A. Cipriani, EdD, OTR/L / Thomas Swartwood, MS, OTR/L

Presentation/Publication: Presented as a poster at the 2002 AOTA National Conference, Miami, Florida.

Title: "Emerging Markets in Occupational Therapy"

Author(s): Gift, S., Glunk, H., Nowak, L., Pufnock, C., and Wilson, S.

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine job availability in occupational therapy, the factors that therapists perceive as influential to job availability and job security, and their awareness of emerging markets in the profession. A stratified random sample of 500 AOTA members received the survey, and a 47% response rate was achieved. The highest percentage of occupational therapists reported no change in job availability within the last year (49%), while 34% indicated an increase in jobs in their facility and 17% reported a decrease. While the majority of respondents feel secure in their job (44%), 35% were insecure and attributed this to factors such as area of practice, reimbursement issues, and managed care. Accessibility programs and home modification were the emerging practice areas respondents were most aware of. Specific job opportunities were most often reported to be in driver rehabilitation and accessibility programs. Recommendations for preparing therapists to deal with a dynamic job market in the profession are discussed.

Year: Spring 2001

Keyword: jobs, markets

Chair/Reader: Ellen McLaughlin, EdD, OTR/L, BCP / Christine Hischmann, MS, OTR/L

Presentation/Publication: Presented as: Nowak, L., Glunk, H., & Gift, S. Emerging Markets in Occupational Therapy. Poster presented at 2001 POTA Conference, Harrisburg, PA. (Trad 01 grads).

Title: "Therapists' Perception of the Application and Effectiveness of Neurodevelopmental Treatment on Patients Following a Cerebral Vascular Accident"

Author(s): Beach, K., Crisswell, T., Hawn, C., Romig, D., and Troutman, L.

Abstract: To explore therapists' perceptions regarding the application and effectiveness of the NDT approach for patients following a CVA, and in particular the occupational performance elicited from use of the NDT approach. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with four occupational therapists who were NDT certified or trained, and have experience working with patients following a CVA. The therapists were asked to describe their perception about NDT techniques, the NDT techniques used, and its impact on occupational performance. Data was analyzed using the grounded theory.

Findings identified the use of weight-bearing, weight-shifting, and guiding techniques as fundamental aspects of individual treatment plans. Furthermore, specific changes in the patient following the administration of NDT techniques were noted to be increased attention to the affected side, proper midline orientation, and increased perception of the patient's body and awareness of patterns of movement. The patient experiences positive effects on occupational performance from engagement of NDT techniques in functional tasks to increase independence. The researchers discovered how occupational therapists use NDT techniques with patients following a CVA, and the changes seen, such as increased occupational and role performance, following administration of NDT techniques. It would be advantageous to the field of occupational therapy to expand the knowledge of the effectiveness of NDT techniques on patients following a CVA because there is a lack of research on this issue.

Year: Spring 2001

Keyword: neurodevelopmental treatment

Chair/Reader: Gwen Bartolacci, MS, OTR/L /

Presentation/Publication: Presented as a poster at the 2001 AOTA National Conference, Philadelphia, Pa.

Title: "Therapists' Perspectives of Caregiver Participation in Pediatric Occupational Therapy Sessions"

Author(s): Caron, A., Culley, C., Dreibelbis, A., Marion, M. and Topa, K.

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to provide a phenomenological account of occupational therapists' perception of the most beneficial levels and types of caregiver participants. Six occupational therapists were chosen through reputational case selection to participate in an interview. The primary themes derived from the interviews included: optimal caregiver participation varies; function increases involvement and progress; caregiver participation does not always work; acceptance and understanding of disability is essential; and external characteristics influence caregiver involvement. Themes are discussed in relation to prior research and to provide occupational therapists with recommendations for facilitating individualized caregiver participation strategies into their practice.

Year: Spring 2001


Chair/Reader: Ellen McLaughlin, EdD, OTR/L, BCP

Title: "The Perceived Role of Occupational Therapy in a Forensic Psychiatric Setting"

Author(s): Haines, R. N., Hoffman, J. L., Lowe, A. M., Mock, J. D., and Murphy, D. L.

Abstract: The purpose of this research project was to study the perceived role of occupational therapy in a forensic psychiatric unit. At one facility, eight participants were interviewed which included administrators, occupational therapists and patients. A phenomenological approach was implemented to interpret the role of occupational therapy from the participants' perspective. The data showed that there were four major themes or roles for occupational therapy in this particular facility. The themes were that occupational therapy facilitated learning, provided an escape or refuge for the patients and promoted collaboration or client-centered therapy. Implications for this study include: a) further promotion of research in this specialized area, b) a clearer definitin of the role of occupational therapy in a forensic psychiatric setting, c) examination of other professionals perceived view of occupational therapy, and d) research that supports the effectiveness of occupational therapy in this setting.

Year: Spring 2001


Chair/Reader: Thomas Swartwood, MS, OTR/L

Presentation/Publication: Presented as: Haines, R.N., Hoffman, J.L., Lowe, A.M., Mock, J.D., Murphy, D.L., & Swartwood, T. The Perceived Role of Occupational Therapy in a Forensic Psychiatric Setting. Paper presented at the 2002 AOTA Annual Conference, Miami, FL.

Title: "Efficiency of the Chubon Versus the QWERTY Keyboard"

Author(s): Galup, R., George, S., Shea, B., and Vetter, R.

Abstract: There is little available evidence with respect to the efficiency of alternative keyboard layouts. The QWERTY keyboard is the standard keyboard design, yet, it is criticized for decreasing the speed of its users. The purpose of this study was to provide a true comparison of the QWERTY and Chubon keyboard layouts during single digit data entry by removing the learned effect of the QWERTY keyboard. A single subject, repeated measures design was used with a convenience sample of nine participants. Each participant began typing on a pre-selected keyboard and completed three twenty-minute trials per typing session until fluency was achieved. Fluency was determined when the words per minute for three consecutive typing trials were within 7% of each other. This procedure was replicated with each keyboard layout. The words per minute typed at fluency for the reversed QWERTY was approximately 62% of the QWERTY, indicating that the learned effect had been erased. The average typing speed of the Chubon was at least 5% higher and at most 51% higher than the reversed QWERTY. There were no significant patterns of error related to the keyboard layout or to the number of typed words per minute. Results of this study implicate that the biomechanical layout of the Chubon is superior to that of the reversed QWERTY, and by extension the QWERTY. Future research regarding the topic is needed to further expand knowledge of the effectiveness of the various alternative keyboard layouts.

Year: Spring 2001


Chair/Reader: Denis Anson, MS, OTR/L

Presentation/Publication:Published as: Anson, D., George, S., Galup, R., Shea, B., & Vetter, R. (2001). Efficiency of the Chubon versus the QWERTY keyboard. Assistive Technology, 13(1), 40-45.

Presented as: Anson, D., George, S., Galup, R., Shea, B., & Vetter, R. A Comparison of Chubon and QWERTY Keyboards. Paper presented at the 2003 RESNA Annual Conference in Atlanta, GA.

Summer - 2001

Title: Using Occupationally Based Vestibular Activities to Improve Balance Among the Elderly: A Pilot Study.

Authors: Clarke, M., Hollen, W., Kachmar D., McGeary, E., Poust, M.

Abstract: Falls have a significant impact on the elderly. Balance disorders and postural control changes have been found to contribute to falls sustained by the elderly (Franzen, et al., 1998). One key factor in balance, and hence falls, is the function of the vestibular system. Age-related changes in the vestibular system interfere with efficient functioning of the righting reflexes. A program of easily completed, chair-based exercise activities, chosen for their vestibular properties, may prove effective in increasing balance in an at-risk population. This study developed a set of activities that may remediate balance and mobility deficits with an elderly, at-risk population. Subsequent research will be needed to determine if the activities are effective.

Year: Summer 2001

Chair/Reader: D. Anson, C. Hischmann

Title: Occupational Therapy on Horseback: Effects of Therapeutic Riding on the Functional Sitting Performance of Children with Cerebral Palsy.

Authors: Hutchinson, P., Koozekalani, N., Moustafa, I. & Poff, M.

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of horseback riding on sitting for three children with cerebral palsy. The Modified Posture Assessment Scale (Jonsdottir, Fetters & Kluzik, 1997) and the number of accurate reaches during a fishing game were used to assess sitting posture and functional performance, both prior to and after a 30 minute horseback riding session. Both postural and functional measures either remained the same or improved for each of the three children. Results that indicated improved trunk stability, head and neck alignment and postural control coincide with previous studies addressing the benefits of therapeutic horseback riding in children with cerebral palsy. Implications for further research examining the functional implications of horseback riding are discussed.

Year: Summer 2001

Chair/Reader: E. McLaughlin, L. Shah

Title: The Efficacy of Ergonomic Programs in Reducing Musculoskeletal Disorders.

Authors: Fritz, W. & Koder, S.

Abstract: The purpose of this literature review was to investigate the effect of ergonomic programs on reducing MSDs and to compare the physical, psychological, and psychosocial components to determine the most effective method in reducing MSDs. Articles included in this literature were obtained by searching electronic databases and conducting a manual hand search. Sixty-six case studies were found that met the inclusion criteria and were formatted into a matrix. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data. Sixty-five of the sixty-six case studies showed a reduction in MSDs, with only one study showing no reduction in MSDs. There was a reduction of MSDs in the workplace by an average of 73%, and 92% of ergonomic programs identified in case studies reported a decrease in MSDs by at least one-third. Individual ergonomic programs implemented in the case studies revealed that there was an 80% average change in MSDs after implementation of ergonomic program that incorporated physical components; 67% average change with psychological/psychosocial components; 66% average change with physical/psychological and physical/psychosocial components; and a 44% average change of psychological components. Therefore, businesses and industries should take a closer look at ergonomic programs and see what benefits they have to offer. An occupational therapist has the knowledge and expertise to practice in the field of ergonomics which allows for a natural fit between the person and their environment. This study was a landmark to begin research in the area of ergonomics; however, further research needs to be continued in order to explore all avenues.

Year: Summer 2001

Chair/Reader: B. Alder, J. Cipriani

Title: Pediatric Functional Assessments.

Authors: Benkovic, K., Bhogal, J., Murtagh, M. & Weis, K.

Abstract: The purpose of this research paper is to present a comparative study of three specific functional assessments used within the pediatric population. The School Function Assessment, the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory and the Vineland Adaptive Behaviors Scales-Survey Form will be examined in relation to their specific domains, purposes, and psychometric properties as well as to the overall implications concerning their use in practice. The information provided will assist practitioners in making well-informed decisions regarding the most appropriate assessment tool to utilize based on their clinical needs.

Year: Summer 2001

Chair/Reader: E. McLaughlin, J. Cipriani

Title: A Comparison of Learning Curves and Accuracy with DVORAK and QWERTY Keyboards.

Authors: Eck, C., King, J., Sansom. C., Wilkerson, B. & Wychulis, D.

Abstract: Presents study of Dvorak keyboard vs. the traditional QWERTY keyboard while eliminating the biases and confounding variables present in past studies. Included, flipping the traditional QWERTY vertical and horizontal to create a ReverseQWERTY. Thus, eliminating previous knowledge and/or experience with QWERTY, yet keeping the biomechanical properties intact. Hypothesis; 1) Dvorak allows faster learning vs. QWERTY; 2) Dvorak layout provides faster typing vs. QWERTY; 3) Dvorak layout provides more accurate typing vs. QWERTY. Study consisted of 12 volunteers who participated in multiple hours of typing trials utilizing the Dvorak vs. Reverse QWERTY keyboards. The findings of this study supported hypothesis 1 and 2 mentioned above, yet does not support hypothesis 3, that the Dvorak keyboard provides more accurate typing that the QWERTY.

Year: Summer 2001

Chair/Reader: D. Anson, J. Cipriani