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Spring 00 - Summer 00

Spring 2000
Summer 2000

Spring - 2000

Title: The Use of Computer Technology with Older Adult Clients: A Pilot Study of Occupational Therapists

Authors: Ackerman, S. E., Bednarczyk, K. R., Bruno, A. L., Cwikla, B. A., Roncolato, K. M., & Cipriani, J. A.

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine if, how, and why occupational therapists use computer technology in their interventions with older adult clients. A mail questionnaire was designed and sent to 275 occupational therapists who were members of the American Occupational Therapy Association Geriatric Special Interest Section and who worked with clients aged 65 and older. The response rate was 64% (n=157). Of the participants, 81% reported having never used computer technology as an intervention with their older adult clients. Of those who reported having used computer technology with their older adult clients, the goals most frequently achieved were in the area of cognition. The majority of surveyed occupational therapists do not use computer technology as an intervention with their older adult clients. The results of this study warrant further exploration to determine the efficacy of computer technology as an intervention with older adult clients.

Year: Spring 2000

Chair/Reader: J. Cipriani, T. Swartwood


Publications/Presentation: Presented as: Ackerman, S., Bednarczyk, K., Bruno, A., Cwikla, B. Roncolato, K. OT Clinicians' Use of Computers in Treatment of the Elderly. 2001 AOTA Conference in Philadelphia.

Published as Ackerman, S., Bednarczyk, K., Bruno, A., Cwikla, B. Roncolato, K., (2001). The Use of Computer Technology with Older Adult Clients: A Pilot Study of Occupational Therapists, Physical and Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics, 20(1), 49-57.

Title: Spinal Cord Injury: A Survey of Intervention Approaches

Authors: Maines-Davis, M. J., Murphy, K. B., Omilak, K. A. & Richards, M. B.

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine, from the perspective of occupational therapists, the most effective intervention approach or combination of approaches for spinal cord injured clients (C6-C8) in an inpatient rehabilitation setting.
One hundred eighty-four occupational therapists belonging to the physical disabilities special interest section of the American Occupational Therapy Association were surveyed regarding the most effective intervention approach or approaches for this client population via a case study. One hundred twenty-five surveys (68%) were returned with 96 surveys meeting inclusion criteria. Ninety-one percent of therapists reported a combination of remediation, compensation, and education approaches to be most effective. The remaining 9% reported various other combinations of the three approaches to be most effective. This study may indicate a preference by therapists to address all approaches when intervening with this client population. Further research can help determine whether these results show a shift in practice verses simply being an artifact of a particular case or research method.

Year: Spring 2000

Chair/Reader: J. Cipriani, G. Bartolacci


Publications/Presentation:Presented as: Maines-Davis , M., Murphy, K., Omilak, K., & Richards, M. Approaches to Intervention for Clients with Spinal Cord Injury. 2001 AOTA Conference in Philadelphia.

Title: Universal Design and the Construction of Public Buildings: Do Occupational Therapists have a Role?

Authors: Candy, J., DeVaney, H., Haigh, A., Sickler, C., & Wentling, R.

Abstract: The first objective of this research was to examine the team approach utilized
in universal design and the construction of public buildings. The second objective was to
explore the current or potential role of occupational therapists (OTs) in this process.
Multiple focused case studies using phenomenological methods and researcher description and interpretation were used for this study. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six professionals involved in the universal design process as it relates to the construction of public buildings. Participants were selected through the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) information hotline as well as through networking within the community. Themes generated addressed the topics of: lack of formal training in universal design, a team approach to universal design, cost-effectiveness of universal design, and significant roles of each team member in the universal design process. Unique findings were also discovered and described. Through qualitative methods, this research describes the interdisciplinary process of integrating universal design in the construction of public buildings. It appears to be an emerging area in all related professions and is an exciting opportunity for OTs.

Year: Spring 2000

Chair/Reader: G. Fisher, T. Swartwood


Publications/Presentation:Presented as: Candy, J., DeVaney, H., Haigh, A., Sickler, C. & Wentling, R. Universal Design : The Role of the Occupational Therapist. 2001 AOTA Conference in Philadelphia.

Title: Left-Right Differences in Stereognostic Processing in the Adult Population

Authors: McLaughlin, E., Knight, S., Ferretti, J., Matukaitis, K., Burke, M., Sosnoski, T.

Abstract: Stereognosis is the perceptual ability that allows individuals to identify familiar objects through tactile manipulation without the aid of vision. This study tested the hypothesis that the left hand processes stereognostic information with more accuracy than the right hand due to its connection with the right hemisphere of the brain. Ninety-nine right handed college students, ranging in age from 17 to 37 years were presented with two-dimensional shapes with their vision occluded. Participants were subsequently asked to identify them with a visual comparison. A series of the same six abstract shapes were presented to both the left and right hands. Frequencies of correct/incorrect responses were summarized and analyzed with descriptive and inferential statistics. The data gathered from this study does not indicate a significant difference between the accuracy of stereognostic testing in the left versus the right hand. The results indicate that occupational therapists can utilize either the right or the left hand with equal accuracy for testing stereognosis in the adult population. Results are discussed in regard to differential findings in this area with children.

Year: Spring 2000

Chair/Reader: E. McLaughlin, L. Shah


Publications/Presentation:Presented as: Burke, M., Ferretti, J., Knight, S., Matukaitis, K., McLaughlin, E., & Sosnoski, T. (2000). The Influence of Handedness on Stereognostic Processing . POTA Annual Conference in Pittsburgh.

Title: Role Changes in the Elderly Residing in Supported Living Environments

Authors: Gibblets, M., Molinaro, A., Reuther, C., Zacharias, M.

Abstract: The objective of the study was to describe role changes experienced by the elderly residing in supported living environments. A descriptive multiple case method approach was used. Four geriatric participants were obtained from one personal care home and one assisted living facility. The participants were interviewed on a volunteer basis. Researchers used the Role Change Assessment (Rogers & Holm, 1999, pp. 73-82) in order to assess the level of role change experienced by the individuals between the past and present. Overall, each participant experienced changes in role performance. The amount of change in each role category varied among all participants. The four participants experienced a reduction in role performance between the past and the present. Additionally, the participants expressed missing certain roles that they had held in the past. Future research is necessary in order to further investigate role changes within the elderly population.

Year:Spring 2000

Chair/Reader: G. Bartolacci, M. B. Holm

Title: Recommendations by Occupational Therapists to Caregivers For Addressing Short-Term Memory Loss of Persons with Dementia

Authors: Brockman, R. A., LaLonde, C. E., Remski, R. J., Stoshak, A. M., & Cipriani, J.

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to identify intervention and coping strategies that occupational therapists suggest to caregivers of persons with dementia to compensate for short-term memory loss. Mailed surveys with postage paid return envelopes and a cover letter were sent to home health and community based occupational therapists. Data from closed-ended questions were compiled and sorted a priori using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences. Open-ended questions were coded a posteriori and placed into categories. Out of 500 surveys mailed, 222 were returned. A number of different techniques were suggested to compensate for the short-term memory loss in persons with dementia. Trends were noted across the three stages of the disease.
Strategies changed as the disease progressed. Therapists continued to focus on maintaining function as the disease progressed by addressing the remaining skills of the person and needs of the caregiver.

Year: Spring 2000

Chair/Reader: J. Cipriani, L. Shah

Title: Characteristics of Educators Who Enable or Present Barriers to the Use of OT Prescribed Intellikeys in the Classroom

Authors: Carver, A., Marrone, A., Palanzo, L., Seibert, D., Senatore, C., Westerberg, K.

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine the applications and outcomes for the Intellikeys keyboard in the classroom settings in relation to presence, participation and productivity. Three predictors of outcome were found. These included: a) years of experience in school-based practice, b) years prescribing Intellikeys, and c) how well received the keyboard was by therapists and educators.

Year: Spring 2000

Chair/Reader: D. Anson, L. Shah

Title: The Use of Aquatic Therapy to Address ADL Skills in Patients with Arthritis

Authors: Marino, N., Oyster, J., Papile, A., Wentzel, H. & Wrescz, L.

Abstract: Traditionally, aquatic therapy has been used as a therapeutic medium in occupational, recreational and physical therapy. Although occupational therapists have stated how aquatic therapy has benefited their patients with self-care deficits, research in this area is minimal. The purpose of this study was to identify if an how occupational therapists utilize aquatic therapy to enhance function in activities of daily living with the population of individuals diagnosed with arthritis. The method used to gather data was a survey sent to a randomly selected list of 210 occupational therapists that provide services to patients with arthritis. A 53.1% response rate was achieved, although only 5 respondents indicated that they use aquatic therapy. Respondents identified water temperature and relation as the most beneficial aspects of aquatic therapy. The most frequently cited reason for not using aquatic therapy was the absence of a pool.

Year: Spring 2000

Chair/Reader: E. McLaughlin. L. Shah

Title: Collaboration Between School Based Occupational Therapists and Teachers

Authors: Kasenchak, T., Steinberg, J., Ventrella, M., Wall, J., Whitney, C., Wickizer, C.

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the collaboration process between occupational therapists and teachers identified as ideal collaborators and less than ideal collaborators through the use of a survey. Both occupational therapists and teachers completed surveys based on their view of the process. Results indicated that time and scheduling were the most common barriers, while open positive attitudes, cooperation and mutual understanding and respect were the most frequently identified enablers of collaboration. There was a significant difference in both time spent collaborating and perceived effectiveness of the collaboration process between those teachers identified as ideal collaborators and those identified as less than ideal collaborators.

Year: Spring 2000

Chair/Reader: E. McLaughlin, B. Pfeiffer

Summer - 2000

Title: Therapeutic Horseback Riding and its Effects on Occupational Performance

Authors: Cole, C., Martin, J., Peters, J. & Roberts, C.

Abstract: Therapeutic horseback riding, an intervention for individuals with mental and physical disabilities, is an expanding filed. Although there is evidence in support of therapeutic riding's benefits, occupational therapy research on the use of this intervention is limited. This study explores whether therapeutic horseback riding leads to improvements in occupational performance areas. A quantitative, non-experimental approach was used to study the effects of horseback riding on occupational performance. A survey was distributed to 130 riders and/or caregivers who have participated in therapeutic horseback riding. The survey included 10 Likert scale questions and 3 open ended questions. Data was analyzed via descriptive statistics, while the open ended responses were examined via content analysis. The results indicated perceived improvements in areas of communication, play, dressing, hygiene, caring for others and possessions, functional mobility and work. In eight of ten performance areas, the percentage of reported functional improvements was greater than the combined percentage of those indicating that there was no change or a decline in function. It was found that respondents perceived many benefits to participating in therapeutic horseback riding. This study prompts further research into the use of therapeutic horseback riding as a means to facilitate functional improvements in areas of occupational performance.

Year: Summer 2000

Chair/Reader: G. Fisher, L. Shah

Title: An Investigation of the Issues Faced by Minority Students in an Entry Level Occupational Therapy Program

Authors: Harper, J.

Abstract: Noting the absence of unified data on issues faced by minority students, a qualitative study was conducted to research their unique perspective. The study consisted of interviewing 4 minority occupational therapy students who were enrolled in an entry level occupational therapy programs. Participants were of varied ethnic backgrounds and all were enrolled in a masters/baccalaureate occupational therapy program. A relationship between the level of minority student socialization and classroom participation was evident. Minority representation in the occupational therapy profession was seen as an important factor in contributing to an awareness of the filed in the minority community and to providing intervention to clients in a cultural context. Low enrollment of minorities in the program did not dissuade minority students from enrolling or impact motivation to continue in the program.

Year: Summer 2000

Chair/Reader: G. Fisher, C. Hischmann

Title: Self Perceptions of Pain as Reported by Patients with Chronic Pain Receiving Aquatic Therapy Versus Land Based Therapy

Authors: Evans, K., Hood, L., McGuigan, J., Shincarick, J.

Abstract: The experience of chronic pain negatively affects one's ability to perform activities of daily living, work and leisure activities. The unique properties of water may make aquatic therapy an excellent medium for patients suffering from chronic pain disorders. The purpose of this study is to compare the perception of pain during various occupations in patients with chronic pain who are receiving solely aquatic therapy versus those receiving land based therapy. Subjects were introduced to the Mankoski Pain Scale and then asked to answer a questionnaire rating their level of pain while performing specific occupations while using a visual analog scale (Mankoski, 1997). An independent samples t-test for equality of means and the Bonferroni adjustment were used to compare the mean scores of self perception during a variety of occupations for the two groups. Results showed no difference between the two groups' mean perception of pain during the various occupations.

Year: Summer 2000

Chair/Reader: G. Fisher, D. Anson

Title: The Impact of the Prospective Payment System on the Delivery of Occupational Therapy in Long Term Care Settings

Authors: Brayford, S., Buscarini, J., Dunbar, C., Frank, A., & Nguyen, P.

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the effect and impact that the prospective payment system has had on occupational therapists and the delivery of occupational therapy services in skilled nursing facilities. This study was non-experimental and quantitative in design. A survey was sent to 250 randomly selected occupational therapists who had worked or were currently working in a skilled nursing facility. Data was analyzed through the use of the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences and reported by percentages. Of those therapists contacted, 165 responded and 115 of those met the necessary criteria and were eligible to be considered in the study. As expected there were many changes after the implementation of the prospective payment system. A majority of therapists (62%) reported an increase in caseload size and the expectation to maintain patients on the caseload longer increased for 38% of the responding therapists. A majority (54.8%) of therapists reported that their facility was decreasing the number of Level II fieldwork students, while 79.1% of responding therapists reported that their facility was cutting their continuing education budget. The majority (73.9% ) of respondents also reported that they felt the quality of life for their residents had decreased. Overall the effects of the prospective payment system appeared to have a negative effect on occupational therapists with 67.7% of them including additional comments on the survey that were classified as negative. This study examined the effect that the prospective payment system has had on the delivery of occupational therapy services within the skilled nursing home environment. In conducting this study it became clear that the quality of life, as viewed by the occupational therapist of nursing home residents has decreased with the inception