Research Agenda

The primary goal of health professionals is to provide services by applying their knowledge for the benefit of individuals in society. Society is increasingly demanding that health professions clearly document the exact nature of their services, the efficacy of their services to individuals, and the extent to which these services meet the needs of society. In response to this need, the NYU Steinhardt's Department of Occupational Therapy has adopted the following research agenda.

The focus of research in the Department of Occupational Therapy is to examine the effectiveness of occupational therapy interventions for individuals, groups, or society. Occupational therapists apply their specific knowledge to enable individuals to engage in activities of daily living that have personal meaning and value. The research conducted within the Department is aimed at promoting the quality of occupational therapy education and the effectiveness of occupational therapy interventions and examines:

  • Outcome studies of prevention and intervention in occupational therapy
    • Effectiveness of handwriting interventions to improve the legibility of school aged children
    • Use of cognitive and performance based measures for the prevention and wellness among older adults in fall prevention
    • Use of everyday technology in the community to facilitate recovery for individuals with stroke
    • Cognitive interventions to promote neuroplasticity and improve verbal memory and attention
    • Research on comprehensive school based interventions for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in inclusive classrooms
    • Efficacy of school based yoga programs on adaptive behavior in children and adolescents with disabilities
    • Exploration of strength based practices to improve outcomes for children, adolescents and adults with ASD
  • Reliability and validity of assessment tools used by occupational therapists
    • Validity of computerized visual perceptual motor measures for school aged children
    • Outcome measure for children’s occupational repertoire development
  • Development of practice and technological innovation
    • Development of a model of participation in community-based, discretionary activities by wheelchair users

In summary, the Department's research agenda is concerned with examining the links between occupational therapy education and practice and the effects of occupational therapy in the real world of practice. Ultimately, the research activities of Department faculty and students serve to support the Department's mission to promote the development of outstanding, ethical practitioners and scholars who are prepared to respond to society's ever-changing needs, and thereby improve the quality of occupational therapy practice and research.