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Spring 02

Spring 2002

Spring - 2002

Title: "The effectiveness of a sensory stimulation program for regressed older adults"

Author(s): Argenio, C., Moore, K., Rickert, J., Rogers, D., and Wolgemuth, R.

Abstract: The purpose of this study were to (a) replicate the Rogers, Marcus, and Snow (1987) study to determine if increases in adaptive behaviors such as orientation, attention, concentration, and communication can occur with other elderly regressed individuals and to (b) assess any long term changes in the residents according to the perception of the staff.
A sensory stimulation program was conducted in a long-term care facility with four regressed older adults. Residents received intensive sensory stimulation four days a week for four weeks. Three dependent variables were measured including independent response, eye contact, and facial expression.
Change in facial expression was the dependent variable that achieved borderline significance among all four group members. Resident D demonstrated gains in orientation and eye contact over a period of nine months based on observation surveys given to the staff.
This study examined the benefits of a sensory stimulation program. Although gains were noted, further research may be conducted to validate the effectiveness of sensory stimulation programs.

Year: Spring 2002

Keyword: regressed, older adult, sensory stimulation

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

Title: "The occupational patterns and temporal adaptation of a child with autism"

Author(s): Bartolino, B., Kuca, C., Kyne, M., and Murphy, K.

Abstract: This research study documents the daily occupational patterns and temporal adaptations of a child with autism through an ethnographic case study of an eight year-old child with the diagnosis of autism. Data was collected through interviews with the caregivers and observations of the child. Data analysis revealed seven dominant themes impacting on the child's occupational patterns and temporal adaptations. The themes included self-care, play, work, self-stimulation, social interaction, intervention, and routine. These seven themes were then related to the two broader categories of performance areas and behaviors. Relationships between the themes and the two categories are discussed. The results support a significant relationship between the seven themes and two categories with the occupational patterns developed and the temporal adaptations used in this eight-year-old child with autism.

Year: Spring 2002

Keyword: occupational pattern, autism

Chair/Reader: Beth Pfeiffer, MS, OTR/L, BCP and Lalit Shah, EdD, OTR/L

Title: "Student Perspectives of Problem-Based Learning for a Course in Functional Neuroscience"

Author(s): Brown, J., Koehler, E., Kozar, K., Miller, S., and Alder, R.

Abstract: Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is being used more frequently in occupational therapy education to promote the skills that are essential for today's clinicians. The purpose of this study was to describe student perspectives about participation in a PBL course in occupational therapy. The researchers used qualitative methods, including a questionnaire with open-ended questions. Fifteen traditional and eight nontraditional students at Misericordia University, Dallas, PA, responded to questionnaires distributed after completing a PBL course in Functional Neuroscience. The results indicated numerous similarities in student perceptions from previous literature and the research participants in this study. One hundred percent of the students surveyed believed that PBL was more applicable to OT, and 70% said that it helped with application to practice. Three-fourths of the students said that knowledge retention increased. More than 50% described their role in PBL as self-directed learners and that PBL helped their clinical reasoning skills, as well as exercising group dynamics. Almost half of the students surveyed said that PBL increased their study habits and research skills. The importance of the knowledge gained from this study may influence future developments of teaching methods in occupational therapy curriculums.

Year: Spring 2002

Keyword: problem-based learning, neuroscience

Chair/Reader: Robert Alder, MS / Kim Alba-Perry, MS, OTR/L

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

Title: "Influence of Selected Factors Post-Hand Injury on Number of Treatment Sessions in Occupational Therapy"

Author(s): Cipriani, J., Baer, B., Engelman, N., Galati, T., and Zeevalk, S.

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine how selective factors were related post-hand injury to the number of treatment sessions in Occupational Therapy. These factors were: the insurer, the type of insurance, the referring physician, diagnosis, whether or not the client had multiple diagnoses, age and gender. A step-wise regression analysis was performed on 551 clients of a large outpatient hand therapy center to establish which factors impacted the treatment outcomes. The findings indicated that whether or not a client had workers' compensation, multiple diagnoses or auto insurance were significant predictors, explaining 0.104 or 10% of the variance of the number of treatment sessions. The other factors were not influential predictors in this study. This study measured one aspect of the efficiency of service delivery, but the effectiveness of services needs to be measured included in a comprehensive continuous quality improvement plan for meaningful client outcomes.

Year: Spring 2002

Keyword: factors post hand injury

Chair/Reader: Joseph A. Cipriani, EdD, OTR/L / Denis Anson, MS, OTR/L

Title: "The Influence of Paper Style on Elementary Students Handwriting Accuracy"

Author(s): Laczkoskie, M., Levin, J., McLaughlin, E., McNamara, J., and Reed, M.

Abstract: The Handwriting Without Tears (HWT) program is a handwriting program developed to improve children's handwriting abilities and assist them in overcoming developmental barriers in the early stages of the handwriting process. It can also be used to correct handwriting difficulties throughout the elementary years. The purpose of this paper is to determine if there is a significant difference in handwriting accuracy when using the HWT's 2-lined paper as compared to the 3-lined paper commonly used in elementary classrooms. Handwriting samples were collected from 105 first grade students, in two separate elementary schools, within a local school district. These samples were then scored according to the Minnesota Handwriting Assessment. Results indicate that there is a significant difference between the two types of paper with the scores from the regular 3-lined paper being higher (t=-2.558, df=100, p=.012). Possible interpretations of and implications of this difference are discussed.

Year: Spring 2002

Keyword: handwriting

Chair/Reader: Ellen McLaughlin, EdD, OTR/L, BCP / Danielle Randazzo, MS, OTR/L

Title: "Experiences of therapeutic humor in occupational therapy: Perspectives of residents and professionals"

Author(s): Bowers, M., Donati, S., Loving, S. Serignese, R., Taronis, E.

Abstract: A phenomenological approach was used to explore the perception of the use of humor by residents, staff, and occupational therapists in a long-term care setting. The methodology used to gather data included interviews of the residents, staff, and occupational therapists. Six main themes were extracted through data analysis: humor as a coping tool, humor as universal, humor's ability to change the perception of health care delivery, resident benefits, individual therapist benefits, and finally the mutual benefits achieved by the incorporation of humor into a therapeutic environment. This research differs from previous studies in that it examines the use of humor in a specific facility and with a specific population. Another distinction of this study is the exploration of the impact a person's gender and culture may have on the interpretation of humor. The findings from the research were similar from past studies in that humor proved to be beneficial to the therapy process for both the residents and therapists. It also identifies the feelings and opinions of the residents themselves, the recipients of this facility wide.

Year: Spring 2002


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

Title: "Factors that influence successful community tenure for persons with mental illness"

Author(s): Clement, S., Farr, C., Ferrell, L., Gruber, A., and Petrasek, M.

Abstract: This study was to determine what factors are responsible for successful reintegration in the community of nine participants diagnosed with mental illness.
This research consisted of a qualitative approach using a phenomenological design, which seeks to gain the perception of the participants' lived experiences. Participants that are currently in or have been in a Transitional Living Program (TLP) were interviewed to gain insight into their lives.
The participants identified nine factors that influenced community tenure. All nine participants valued transitional living, medication management, and money management as themes influencing their ability to succeed in the community. Perception of self-reliance, relationships, and institutional support were strong themes. Spirituality, addictions, and work were minor themes that influenced several participants' ability to sustain community tenure.
This information suggests that there are common factors among participants that enable them to sustain community tenure. TLP's and community support appear to play a major role and reinforce the need to follow-up care.

Year: Spring 2002


Chair/Reader: Thomas Swartwood, OTR/L

Publication/Presentation: Presented as: Clement, S., Farr, C., Ferell, L., Gruber, A., Petrasek, M., & Swartwood, T. Factors that Influence Successful Community Tenure for Persons with Mental Illness. Poster presentation at the 2003 AOTA Annual Conference, Washington, D.C. (Trad 03 grads with faculty members).

Title: "A systematic review of the literature on animal assisted therapy with the geriatric population using the tool of evidence-based practice"

Author(s): Cipriani, J.A., Lockavich, E., Lowe, E., Reese, K., Zigner, S., and Zoller, A.

Abstracts: The purpose of this study was to compile evidence on the effectiveness of animal assisted therapy (AAT) with older adults using the tool of evidence-based practice. The methodology of this study was a literature review using an evidence hierarchy as the framework. Twenty-three studies met the inclusion criteria, with 13 studies demonstrating significant statistical effects. The most common outcome variables demonstrating significant effects among AAT participants were increases in socialization, followed by a decrease in depression. Although there has been published research illustrating the effectiveness of AAT in the geriatric population, more studies need to be conducted at higher levels within the evidence hierarchy. To determine more definitive conclusion, a future meta-analysis will be completed based on results of this review.

Year: Spring 2002


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

Title: "A comparison study of head pointers"

Author(s): Anson, D., Lawler, G., Kissinger, A., Timko, M., Tuminski, J., and Drew, B.

Abstracts: The purpose of this study is to compare the functional performance of three head pointing technologies as exemplified by the HeadMaster Plus (ultrasonic), Tracer (solid state gyroscope), and Tracker 2000 (infrared reflection). This is a single subject, repeated measures design consisting of six able-bodied subjects. Each subject completed graphic drawings using all three devices until a plateau of 7% time between trials was reached. The number of trials, amount of time to complete the drawings, number of errors, and survey questions focused on comfort and preference were compared. The Tracer and HeadMaster Plus were similar in high performance ability but were lacking in the area of comfort. The Tracker 2000 was found to have lower performance ability but was considered to be the most comfortable. The Tracker 2000 was preferred over the other two devices leading the researches to believe that comfort held greater importance than performance in this study.

Year: Spring 2002


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

Presentation/Publication: Published as: Anson, D., Lawler, G., Kissinger, A., Timko, M., Tuminski, J., & Drew, B. (2002). Efficacy of three head-pointing devices for a mouse emulation task. Assistive Technology, 14, 140-150.

Presented as a paper at the RESNA 26th International Conference of Technology, Atlanta, GA. 2003.

Title: "Social skills intervention groups: A pilot effectiveness study"

Author(s): Badman, R.A., Crine, J.R., Fisher, S.B., Freeborn, C.M., Kerstetter, A.L.

Abstract: There is limited research examining the effectiveness of occupational therapy in social skills training programs. The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of the College Program, a social skills training group, run by occupational therapists. Subjects included children who were enrolled in the Collage Program for 12-16 weeks. The ages of the subjects ranged from 3-18, with varying diagnoses, but all having identified social skills dysfunction. The Social Skills Rating Scale (SSRS) was used to measure social skills, problem behaviors, and academic competence. Results of this study showed that children in the Collage Program had a significant decrease in the number of problem behaviors (t(10)=2.664, p<.05) as reported by parents. The mean score for social skills also improved from pre-test (m=44.00, sd=8.235) to post-test (m=46.67, sd=11.396) but were not at statistically significant levels. Although the results did not address effectiveness of the Collage Program for long-term carry-over, the immediate results suggest that social skills intervention groups facilitated by occupational therapists can be beneficial in resolving social skills dysfunction. Implications for occupational therapy treatment and research are discussed.

Year: Spring 2002


Chair/Reader: Elizabeth Pfeiffer, MS, OTR/L and Ellen McLaughlin, EdD, OTR/L, BCP

Title: Playgrounds for Children with Physical Disabilities: An Accessibility Checklist Based on ATBCB Guidelines

Authors: Lauren Hnath, Christine Luhrs, Justine MacDougall, Amy Tegethoff, and Carolyn Grady Whitworth

Abstract:The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (ATBCB) has proposed guidelines for playground accessibility for children with disabilities (Federal Register, 1998). Based on these guidelines, an observational checklist for the accessibility of playgrounds for children with various physical abilities was created. This assessment applies to playgrounds designed for children aged 5 to 12 years with mild to moderate physical disabilities. A panel of experts was selected to review the checklist and make recommendations. Researchers took this checklist to a playground that claimed to follow current accessibility guidelines. A field test was conducted in which researchers observed and videotaped physically disabled children on playground equipment. After observing the children on the playground and completing the video analysis, some additions to the checklist were made. The panel then reviewed the final version and made additional suggestions, which were then incorporated into the checklist.

Chair/Reader: Lalit Shah