Professional Program in Occupational Therapy Student Research Projects Archive

Research Projects

Professional Program in Occupational Therapy Student Research Projects Archive

Summer/Fall 2012

1.  Qualitative Study on the Effect of Homework and Stress on Families of Children with Autism

Faculty Mentor: Jim Hinojosa
Students: Allison Gottlieb, Eve Greenfield, Shirah Moses, & Katherine Tietz

Homework is an activity that most school-age children are expected to participate in at their homes after school. For children with disabilities, this may include a home treatment program. Homework is also a common activity in which parent-child friction occurs. The focus of this study was on the experiences and perceptions of parents and siblings about homework and/or home treatment programs and their influences on family life. The goal of this study was to describe and understand how they engage and participate in homework/home treatment.

Students began by identifying a specific group of children between the ages of 8 and 11 years. After deciding on the disability, students worked in pairs to find two families with a child with the disability to interview. Each parent was interviewed twice. After conducting each interview, it was transcribed verbatim and then analyzed.

2.  Attitudes and Views Occupational Therapists Have Towards Post-Professional Education

Mentor: Ginelle John
Students: Teresa Bailey, Ashley Han, Rifka Miltz, & Sharon Yi

New York University’s Professional Program in Occupational Therapy has consistently been ranked among the top 10 entry-level OT programs in the United States. In addition to applying to NYU’s MSOT program, many of our students have applied and have been accepted to other top ranked OT programs. The goal of this study was to examine the reasons why MSOT students choose to pursue their degree at NYU.

 This short web based survey was administered to 1st and 2nd year students in the entry-level program. This study examined what aspects/areas of the admissions and registration process students found helpful and what areas could be improved.

3.  Qualitative Study on Parental Feeding Experience with Young Children in Hispanic Cultures


Faculty Mentors: Tsu-Hsin Howe & Jim Hinojosa
Students: Theresa Baling, Chloe Garcia-Cruz, & Alexa Rosenburg

Feeding is one of the most important occupations for infants and is influenced by cultural beliefs and practices. An awareness of the infant feeding practices of any ethnic group is required in order to design and implement effective feeding intervention strategies targeted at infants of that particular ethnic group.

The primary objective of the study was to learn about the feeding experience of families from various ethnic groups. We explored information on breast-feeding versus bottle feeding, the timing of introducing supplementary foods, primary and secondary sources of information about recommendations for infant feeding, and dietary intake for young children.

Students were responsible to identify four Hispanic families who had a child (or children) less than 5 years of age. Students interviewed participants using an interview guide provided by research mentors. Students then transcribed the interviews they had conducted and used qualitative strategies to analyze each interview. As part of this project, students completed a literature review specific to their research question and used ATLAS software to analyze the qualitative data. Students were expected to lean the ATLAS software for the data coding and comparative analysis.

4.  The Relationship between Feeding Problems and Parental Stress Index in Pre-term Infants Under 2-Years Old

Faculty Mentor: Tsu-Hsin Howe
Students: Lille Coston, Kristin Gulmi, Atara Joel, & Aliya Naqvi

For parents of preterm infants, the stress of adjusting to the situation of premature birth is overwhelming. Many studies reported that parents with preterm infants tend to demonstrate greater depression and increased anxiety than the parents of full-term infants. One area these parents often struggle with is feeding. Compared with full-term infants, an estimated 31% to 45% of preterm infants experience feeding difficulties for the first two years of life.

There is a paucity of literature describing preterm infants’ feeding problems over time. Most of the studies investigating preterm infants’ feeding problems after hospital discharge have been conducted using a highly specific type of preterm infants who were treated in a special feeding clinic rather than a home-based sample. Clinicians have little evidence about which early feeding issues will resolve, and which ones will become problematic. Specific recommendations given by clinicians to parents are thus limited. The primary objective of the study was to explore the present feeding issues of preterm infants after hospitalization in the first two years of life.

In this project, students were responsible for recruiting 20 mothers who had babies with a history of prematurity and who were under the age of 2 years. Prematurity is defined as gestational age ≤ 37 weeks. Students let each participant complete two questionnaires: a behavioral-based feeding questionnaire and the parental stress index. Students then analyzed the results of these two questionnaires to explore the possible relationship between feeding problems and parental stress index.

5.  The Get Ready to Learn (GRTL) Program for Adolescents with Disabilities: Determining a Checklist with Inter-rater Reliability for Executive Functioning

Faculty Mentor:  Kristie P Koenig
Clinical Mentor: Anne Buckley Reen
Students: Lila Chess, Henrietta Li, Stephanie Lopez, & Jesse McCormack

Students expanded an ongoing project that assesses the efficacy of the GRTL program. A pre-post test design was used to assess specific student behaviors related to focus, attention, and executive function after participating in a daily yoga program. Students rated behaviors via videotape or direct observation during the GRTL program, coding behaviors of time on task and amount of redirection required, with the goal to assess how students’ attention and focus was impacted after a 20 minute daily yoga program. Students were required to develop the code sheet in the summer, establish interrater reliability, and then apply it to either direct and/or video observations of the behaviors during structured classroom activities.  

6. The Correlation between Sensory Processing and Executive Functioning in Preschool-aged Children with Sensory Processing Disorder

Faculty Mentor: Kristie P Koenig 
Clinical Mentor: Robbie Levy

Students: Shoshana Miller & Aliza Zaret

Students continued a project in conjunction with Robbie Levy, owner of Dynamic Kids, a private practice specializing in sensory integration in White Plains, NY. Occupational therapists assume that use of "Heavy work" i.e. proprioceptive-based activities (push/pull/exercise/weighted activities, etc.) for children with disabilities are calming, organizing, and improve attention to task. Students used a rating sheet that was developed this past year with established interrater reliability and applied it to a preschool population at Dynamic Kids. Students used this protocol to evaluate the fidelity of intervention of heavy work at the clinic and assessed the impact of heavy work on executive function and self-regulation from parent and teacher ratings. This was done in conjunction with a Level I fieldwork experience at Dynamic kids and with input from their clinical and academic mentor. Students collected the parent and teacher ratings, entered it in a database, and analyzed the data to assess impact of heavy work on executive function.

7.  Executive Dysfunction and Emotional Reactivity in Pediatric Autism and Bipolar Populations

Faculty Mentor: Gerald Voelbel
Students: Ashley Carr, Elizabeth Greenebaum, & Lauren Menino

The purpose of this project was to examine the relationship between measures of executive function and parent rating scales of their child's behavior. The project included analyzing data from a large data set to investigate the influence executive dysfunction has on the disruptive behaviors in children with Autistic or Asperger's Disorder. The students worked on analyzing this data throughout the summer and met with Dr. Voelbel frequently about the data and the results. 

8.  Effects of Cognitive Reserve and Age on Cognitive Impairment in Chronic Substance Abusers

Faculty Mentor: Gerald Voelbel
Students: Viktoriya Dolzhanskaya, Maya Mardechayev, & Beth Salzman

The purpose of this project was to examine the relationship of cognitive deficits to the quality of life in heavy chronic alcohol and substance users. The project included analyzing data from a longitudinal data set to investigate the influence cognitive deficits have on quality of life after individuals enter addictions treatment. The students worked on analyzing this data throughout the summer and met with Dr. Voelbel about the data and the results frequently.

9.  What are NYU Occupational Therapy Student's Perceptions and Values on Implementing a Service-Learning Course?

Faculty Mentor: Karen Buckley
Students: Jessica Ng, Erika Osayande, Jasmine Tagorda, & Carmen Yau

This study reviewed publications and research studies (evidence) in the United States relating to different service learning models from nursing and the allied health professions. Students completed an annotated bibliography of the top ten experiences reviewed.

10.  An Annotated Bibliography of Psychological Reactions Following Traumatic Hand Injuries

Faculty Mentor: Sally Poole
Students: Jacqueline Atrio, Rebecca Berlin, & Ritu Shah

The eventual goal set was to do the Impact of Event Scale with four different hand injuries to see if there is a difference in how patients experience the injury. For example, do people with tendon injuries have a more difficult time than those with nerve lacerations? Prior to that, a systematic review of the literature looking at "psychological/stress reactions of patients with traumatic hand injuries" was carried out. The goal was to see what the literature says in general and if there are differences noted depending on diagnosis.

11.  An Exploration of Current Occupational Therapy Practices Using the Wii Console

Faculty Mentor: Anita Perr
Students: Jessica Binstock, Kaylan Holston, Corinne Ozbek, & Sarah Suffir

Certain technologies, like cell phones, Wii and other games, and iPads and other tablets, are ubiquitous in today’s society. It is unclear how occupational therapists use these technologies in their work. The thorough literature review included an investigation of the most common popular technologies and therapy approaches, as well as an investigation of whether a usable survey exists. This group decided to either develop a survey or use an existing survey to collect data about specific technologies being used in occupational therapy and how occupational therapists are using the technologies in their clinical practice and in the management of their practice.

12.  Current Trends in Assistive Technology Education in Entry-Level Occupational Therapy Curricula

Faculty Mentor: Anita Perr
Students: Katie Calabro & Brienna Maier

Certain technologies, like cell phones, Wii and other games, and iPads and other tablets, are ubiquitous in today’s society. OTs and COTAs use such technologies in their practices. It is important that occupational therapy education meet the needs of practitioners as technologies change. This project’s goal was to determine how the use of such technologies is taught in entry-level occupational therapy programs. Using the 2012 ACOTE Standards as well as literature in the field, students developed a brief survey meant for a representative of entry-level occupational therapy and occupational therapy assistant programs in the US to complete. The survey was then used with a small group of programs to determine its potential use with a larger population.

13.  Measuring Thumb Opposition Using the Hareau Goniometer

Clinical Mentor: Pamela Lawton
Students: Allison Yaros & Cheryl Zeffren

The traditional method of using a ruler to measure the completion of thumb opposition is the primary method therapists rely on to document and to chart progress for those who have impaired thumb movement at the CMC joint. A new tool has been designed and is being marketed to measure thumb opposition. This inquiry looks at the utility of this new tool on a sample of patients who have expressed injuries affecting their CMC joints and are undergoing treatment in NYC. Students participated in Level 1 fieldwork to enhance data collection.

14.  Use of Weighted Vests among Pediatric Occupational Therapists

Ph.D Candidate Mentor: Sarah Rudney
Students: Catherine Daab, Liz FineSmith, Kunjamma Varghese, & Hope Whalen

Weighted and deep pressure vests are used by pediatric occupational therapists in a variety of settings and with a variety of patient populations, targeting a multitude of behaviors. There are no set guidelines on how they should be utilized in practice and the literature supporting their use is varied. For this exploratory study, students created and implemented a survey for pediatric occupational therapists to gain information on how many therapists currently use weighted and deep pressure vests, how they are being used, and for what patient population they are being used with. 

15.  Inter- and Intra-rater Reliability of Goniometric and Ruler Measurements of Metacarpophalangeal Joint Hyperextension

PhD Candidate Mentor: Siaw Chui Chai
Students: Grace Chen and Natasha Milard

This cross-sectional study aimed to evaluate the intra-rater and inter-rater reliability of finger goniometer and ruler methods for measuring hyperextension of the metacapophalangeal joints (MCPJs). The study recruited a sample of 50 convenient subjects on NYU campus. Hyperextension of the MCPJs is one of the most difficult motions to measure. A finger goniometer is currently the standard measuring method. Ruler method was a new method proposed by the research mentor of this study based on the trigonometric principle.

16.  Measuring the Effect of Cognitive Therapy on Adults with Multiple Sclerosis

PhD Candidate Mentor: Jennifer Kalina
Students: Talia Esral, Christopher Ho, Idamar Jorge, & Ariella Lipetz

Cognitive impairments are difficult to evaluate due to resource restraints and therefore, clinicians often rely on clients’ self-report of their cognitive functioning. The aim of this study was to examine if there are any discrepancies between a client’s subjective reports of cognitive improvement compared to objective cognitive performance improvements on standardized measurements, after a structured MS cognitive rehabilitation program.

17.  The Influence of Maternal Postpartum Psychological Factors on Attachment Outcomes in Preterm Infants: A Systematic Review

Ph.D Candidate Mentor: Chien-Ying Yang
Students: Gillian Aftel & Kristen Spurlock

Preterm infants differ developmentally from full-term infants and possess behavioral characteristics that may cause them to be more difficult partners in mother-child interactions. A variety of factors including both infant’s status and maternal characteristics could influence interactions between premature infants and their mothers, such as infants’ temperament, sensory sensitivity, and/or material psychological distress and so on.

Thus, this literature review was aimed to identify and synthesize research articles in order to understand risk factors that influence mother-infant interaction associated with preterm infants. This study relied on printed source material and followed a systematic review format to determine what is known in the current research.

18.  The Role of Occupational Therapy in Artistic Aging

Faculty Mentor: Jane Bear-Lehman
Students: Lisa Golshani, Karen Hon, Elisha Omar, & Arlene Yu

19.  Program Evaluation: Impressions of How NYU Program Prepared Recent OT Graduates for Entry in the Work Place

Faculty Mentors: Karen Buckley & Sally Poole
Students: Christine Conlon, Dana Howe, & Andrew Nguyen

This study aimed to survey the last three years of OT graduates to collect and understand their impressions of how NYU OT prepared them for work. This study is done every three years and is required by our accreditation body (ACOTE, American Council of Occupational Therapy Education).


 Fall 2011

Led by Jane Bear-Lehman, Associate Professor and Department Chair, the two-semester course sequence, E40.2724 Occupational Therapy Research: Project Design (Summer 2011) and E40.2725 Occupational Therapy Research (Fall 2011) combined lectures and laboratory sessions with faculty sponsored group research projects. The following is a listing of the 2011 research projects.

Study: The Value of Clinical Doctorate.

Faculty Mentors: Sally Poole and Jane Bear-Lehman
Students: Dori Goldman & Teresa Nydegger

As of 2007, an earned master’s degree in the field of occupational therapy is required for the credential to practice occupational therapy in the US. To date, nine educational programs in the US offer an entry level clinical occupational therapy doctorate, and many more offer a post professional doctorate: research or clinical for practicing occupational therapists. In addition to the professional MS program in OT, NYU OT offers three post-professional educational programs for practicing therapists: MA program, DPS (a clinical doctorate) and a PhD (research/scholar). 

Students were seeking to gain an appreciation of the perceptions of currently enrolled occupational therapy students about furthering their education beyond their current program.  Specifically: (1) what the motivating factors would be to continue their schooling; (2) what the perceived opportunities and barriers might be; (3) what their thoughts were regarding staying for an additional year of schooling versus returning to school after a suggested amount of time to earn a doctoral degree; and (4) what type(s) of doctoral programs would be of interest: part-time, full-time, content arena of interest. 

Study: The Effect of Yoga Therapy on Cognitive and Social Abnormalities in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): Implications for the Get Ready to Learn (GRTL) Program.

 Faculty Mentor: Kristie P Koenig  
Clinical Mentor: Anne Buckley Reen
Students: Annie Choi, Kathleen Kinnavy, & Sabrina Metzger

Students expanded an ongoing project that assesses the efficacy of the GRTL program. A single subject design was used to assess the progress of 3 students that have multiple disabilities in the GRTL program. Students rated behaviors via videotape or direct observation during the GRTL program, coding behaviors of self-initiated movement, direction following and sequence of movements, with the goal to assess how quickly students with significant disabilities are able to initiate the program and carry out the motor actions.

Study: The Impact of Heavy Work on Children's Organization and Self-regulation.

Faculty Mentor: Kristie P Koenig
Clinical Mentor: Robbie Levy
Students: Rena Adler & Hayley Schiller

Students developed a project in conjunction with Robbie Levy, owner of Dynamic Kids, a private practice specializing in sensory integration in White Plains, NY. Occupational therapists assume that use of "Heavy work" i.e. proprioceptive based activities (push/pull/exercise/weighted activities, etc.) for children with disabilities are calming, organizing and improve attention to task.

Students developed a possible protocol for heavy work both for clinic-based sessions and a home program, based on a comprehensive literature review on the use of heavy work and observations of heavy work. This was done in conjunction with a Level I fieldwork experience at Dynamic kids and with input from their clinical and academic mentor. The "heavy work" clinic and home protocol was done with selected children. Students conducted interviews with the treating therapists and parents to assess what elements/activities worked in the clinic and as a home program, and what elements/activities needed to be modified for the final intervention protocol, which may be used in future research projects.  Preference was given to students who were interested in Level 1 fieldwork at the site in addition to research.

Study: Hispanic Mother’s Reported Feeding Experience.

 Faculty Mentors: Tsu-Hsin Howe and Jim Hinojosa
Students: Jeyser Chavarria, katherine Passias, & Susan Paul

Feeding is one of the most important occupations for infants and is influenced by cultural beliefs and practices. An awareness of the infant feeding practices of any ethnic group is needed to be able to design and implement effective feeding intervention strategies targeted at infants of that particular ethnic group.

The primary objective of the study was to learn about the feeding experience of families from various ethnic groups. We explored information on breast feeding versus bottle feeding, the timing of introducing supplementary foods, and looked at primary and secondary sources of information about recommendations for infant feeding and dietary intake for young children. Students were responsible for identifying four Hispanic families who had a child (or children) under 5 years of age. Students interviewed participants using an interview guide provided by research mentors. Students then transcribed the interviews they had conducted and used qualitative strategies to analyze the interview. As part of this project, students completed a literature review specific to their research question and used ATLAS software to analyze the qualitative data. Students were expected to learn the ATLAS software for the data coding and comparative analysis.

Study: A Qualitative Study of the Influence of Homework and Home Treatment Programs on Family Life.

Faculty Mentor: Jim Hinojosa
Students: Jessica Lebovitz, Allison Miller, & Amanda Waynick

Homework is an activity that most school-age children are expected to participate in at their homes after school. For children with disabilities, this may include a home treatment program. Homework is also a common activity in which parent-child friction occurs. The focus of this study was on the experiences and perceptions of parents and siblings about homework and/or home treatment programs and their influences on family life. The goal of this study was to describe and understand how they engage and participate in homework/home treatment.

Study: The Relationships between Feeding Problems and Parental Stress Index in Preterm and Full Term Infants Under Two Years Old.

 Faculty Mentor: Tsu-Hsin Howe
Students: Jaclyn Figueroa & Eceddy Simo

For parents of preterm infants, the stress of adjusting to the situation of premature birth is overwhelming. Many studies have reported that parents with preterm infants tend to demonstrate greater depression and increased anxiety than the parents of full-term infants. One area these parents often struggle with is feeding. Compared with full-term infants, an estimated 31% to 45% of preterm infants experience feeding difficulties for the first two years of life.

There is a paucity of literature describing preterm infants’ feeding problems over time. Most of the studies investigating preterm infants’ feeding problems after hospital discharge have been conducted using a highly specific type of preterm infants who were treated in a special feeding clinic rather than a home-based sample. Clinicians have little evidence about which early feeding issues will resolve, and which ones will become problematic. Specific recommendations given by clinicians to parents are thus limited. The primary objective of the study was to explore the presenting feeding issues of preterm infants after hospitalization in the first two years of life.

In this project, students were responsible for recruiting 20 mothers who had babies with a history of prematurity and who were under 2 years of age. Prematurity is defined as gestational age ≤ 37 weeks. Students had each participant complete two questionnaires: behavioral-based feeding questionnaire and parental stress index. Students then analyzed the results of these two questionnaires to explore the possible relationship between feeding problems and parental stress index.

Study: Executive Control and its Relationship to Behavioral Dyscontrol in an Autistic Spectrum Disorder Population.

 Faculty Mentor: Gerald Voelbel
Students: Erika Brown & Limor Yerushalmi

The purpose of this project was to examine the relationship between measures of executive function and parent rating scales of their child's behavior. The project included analyzing data from a large data set to investigate the influence executive dysfunction has on the disruptive behaviors in children with Autistic or Asperger's Disorder. The students worked on analyzing this data throughout the summer and met with Dr. Voelbel frequently about the data and the results throughout the summer. 

Study: A Study on the Association between the Cognitive Deficits Found in Alcohol and Substance Abusers and their Social Resources Post Treatment. 

Faculty Mentor: Gerald Voelbel
Students: Lindsay Brown, Anna Pudel, & Tova Shapiro

The purpose of this project was to examine the relationship of cognitive deficits to the quality of life in heavy chronic alcohol & substance users. The project included analyzing data from a longitudinal data set to investigate the influence cognitive deficits have on quality of life after individuals enter addictions treatment. The students worked on analyzing the data throughout the summer and met with Dr. Voelbel about the data and results frequently.

Study: The Efficacy of Structured Group Play on Social Skills.

Faculty Mentors: Jim Hinojosa and Tsu-Hsin Howe
Clinical Mentor: Karen Roston
Students: Jacqueline Braha, Jeannette Dobosz, Malka Dubroff, & Georgia Fiotodimitrakis

This study examined the effectiveness of interactive LEGO® play to improve children's social skills. Children who had been identified as having difficulty with social skills in interacting with their peers participated in an intervention for 10-12 sessions. Students were also assigned to Level 1 fieldwork at the site. Both groups met on Mondays and Fridays. NYU students administered a standardized assessment and assisted the Monday-Friday group for 8 sessions. They also collected ongoing data during the intervention sessions.

Study: An Examination of the Generation Effect in Developmental Age Groups 7-11 and 11-15.

Faculty Mentor: Yael Goverover
Students: Erick Fisco, Laloma Kagan, & Lili Wu

The purpose of this study was to examine the generation effect in children and adolescence between theages of 7 and 15. The generation effect is the phenomenon that information is remembered better in comparison to information that is provided or given. The aim of this study was to examine if the Generation Effect was similar in two groups of children: 7-11 and 11-15. In this study, students recruited 15 children between the ages of 7 and 11, and 15 between the ages of 11 and 15 (30 all together), and administered the generation effect protocol.

Study: Walking and Talking: A Pilot Study on Dual Tasking and Executive Function in Healthy Adults. 

Faculty Mentor: Yael Goverover
Students: Meghan Brianne Lauter & Katrina Monroe

Dual tasking refers to the ability to do two things at once. Recent studies have investigated the effects of performing concurrent cognitive tasks while walking. Research suggests that under neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s, dementia or MS, performing concurrent tasks has a disproportionate effect on walking when compared to healthy controls. In this study we piloted a new procedure for the dual task paradigm in HC. For this project, students recruited five-ten participants between the ages of 35 and 60. Students were also involved in the administration of cognitive tests and functional information related to the topic of the study. The study took place at NYU and the project mentor was present at testing.

Study: Falls Prevention in the Community Dwelling Elderly.

Faculty Mentors: Karen Buckley and Sally Poole
Students: Jocelyn Lucier, Talia Reiner, Lauren Shampine, & Peri Wagner

The students conducted a thorough literature review of current assessments used to identify older adults at risk for falls. In addition, students reviewed the literature to identify programs to prevent falls and examine the efficacy of these effects. (4 students)

Study: Employer Satisfaction with Graduates of New York University’s Occupational Therapy Professional Master’s Program.

Faculty Mentors: Karen Buckley and Sally Poole
Students: Elizabeth Fersht & Shaina Giller

This study involved surveying employer’s satisfaction with NYU OT graduates level of preparation for employment. This is an important component of the NYU OT program evaluation for accreditation. The survey involved the use of online survey and focus groups.

Study: An Effective Way of Measuring Thumb Opposition.

Faculty Mentor: Jane Bear-Lehman 
Clinical Mentor: Pamela Lawton
Students: Jessica Pellegrino & Michelle Rosenberg

The traditional method of using a ruler to measure the completion of thumb opposition is the primary method therapists rely on to document and to chart progress for those who have impaired thumb movement at the CMC joint. A new tool has been designed and is being marketed to measure thumb opposition. This inquiry looked at the utility of this new tool on a sample of patients who had expressed injuries affecting their CMC joints and who were undergoing treatment in NYC. Students participated in Level 1 fieldwork to enhance data collection.

Study: The Underused Measure: Usage and Clarity of the Upper Extremity Functional Index (UEFI).

Faculty Mentor: Jane Bear-Lehman
Clinical Mentor: Pamela Lawton and Julie Corbett
Students: Donna Anavian, Jessica Battaglia, & Hilary Till

The Upper Extremity Functional Index (UEFI) is a self-report tool used to measure a patient’s perception to perform ADL and IADL tasks. It has been suggested that the labels on the 5-level likert scale need further detail. We asked patients who were in treatment for their hand injury to complete the UEFI and the revised UEFI. Students participated in Level 1 fieldwork to enhance data collection. 

Study: Comparison of User’s and Clinician’s Views of How Wheelchair Users Participate in Community Activities.

Faculty Mentor: Anita Perr
Students: Stacy Euchs, Sara Jenisch, & Jennifer Lukens

Part of the focus of occupational therapy is to help people develop the skills to be able to participate in community-based activities. Wheelchair users encounter physical, social, and personal barriers that influence their ability to participate in the community activities they want. Barriers include aspects like steps, poor physical strength, and poor self-esteem. There are also things that people find to help them to participate in these activities. These ‘helping’ things are referred to as facilitators and may include things like strategies to navigate barriers, people willing to help out, assertiveness and confidence, and ramps.

Previous projects in this area have sought to identify and describe the barriers and facilitators to participation. This project compared the findings from two groups of people: wheelchair users and clinicians. The literature review included information about mobility, community participation, and previous studies comparing clinician’s and client’s opinions. Using qualitative methods, this group used the transcripts from interviews already completed to identify important themes on this topic. They then compared how the two groups of people view the thematic areas.

Study: Use of Popular Technology in Occupational Therapy.

Faculty Mentor: Anita Perr
Students: Letricia Brown, Melissa Edwards, & Marielle Lombardo

The use of technology has permeated many aspects of our lives including communication (cell phone), work/leisure (e-reader, iPad, X-box, Wii). Clinicians are using these technologies in a number of their ways during their work, either training clients to use the technologies or using the technologies as treatment tools. This group studied how clinicians are using everyday technologies with their clients. The group had the option to limit their focus to a specific area of practice (school based, physical disabilities, etc). 

 The thorough literature review included an investigation of the most common popular technologies and therapy approaches as well as an investigation of whether a usable survey exists. This group developed a survey to collect data about specific technologies being used in occupational therapy and how occupational therapists are using the technologies.

Study: Hyperextension Measurement of the Metacarpophalangeal Joints: A Study of Intra-rater Reliability and Inter-rater Reliability.

PhD Candidate Mentor: Siaw Chui Chai
Students: Rivka Bachrach & Rebecca Lipton

This cross-sectional study aimed to evaluate the intra-rater and inter-rater reliability of finger goniometer, and ruler methods for measuring hyperextension of the metacapophalangeal joints (MCPJs). The study recruited a sample of 100 convenient subjects on the NYU campus. Hyperextension of the MCPJs is one of most difficult motions to measure. Finger goniometer is currently the standard measuring method. Ruler method was a new method proposed by the research mentor of this study based on the trigonometric principle.

Study: Teachers’ Beliefs and Reasons for Volunteering to Use GRTL Program and Their Experiences of Administering it in the Classrooms.

PhD Candidate Mentor: Satvika Garg
Students: Mariela Arcentales, Lea Cali, & Michelle Creighton

This qualitative study conducted with classroom teachers at NY public schools explored the reasons why these teachers agreed to participate in the ongoing GRTL program (yoga based treatment program for children with Autism) and their experiences with using/implementing the program in their classrooms. Our intent was to use this study to find ways to make the GRTL program easy to implement/use in classroom settings in the future.

Fall 2010

Led by Jane Bear-Lehman, Associate Professor and Department Chair, the two-semester course sequence, E40.2724 Occupational Therapy Research: Project Design (Summer 2010) and E40.2725 Occupational Therapy Research (Fall 2010) combined lectures and laboratory sessions with faculty sponsored group research projects. The following is a listing of the 2010 research projects:

Study: Graduate Students’ Perceptions of the Effectiveness of NYU Steinhardt’s Professional Program in Occupational Therapy.

Faculty Mentors: Karen Buckley and Sally Poole
Students: Malica Bretous & Lauren Gurwicz

This survey polled OT graduates of the last 3 years to ascertain their perspectives of the curriculum’s effectiveness in preparing them for employment.

Study: Evaluation of Cultural Competency in the NYU Occupational Therapy Program.

Faculty Mentor: Karen Buckley and Sally Poole
  Students: Talia Forman, Kristen Hughes, & Denise Stigliano

This survey determined the OT program's effectiveness in preparing our students to work with a variety of cultural groups. The students designed a 6-8 item questionnaire with faculty input. Students then polled, via the phone, former students to get their responses.

Study: Implementation Fidelity of the Get Ready to Learn Program.

Faculty Mentor:   Kristie P Koenig  
Clinical Mentor: Anne Buckley Reen
Students: Dina Raimondi, Ilana Rothbein, & Bruria Sharbat

Students expanded an ongoing project that assesses the fidelity and implementation of the GRTL program and pilots recommended pre and post testing on a small subset of classes to assess initial efficacy of the program. Students observed and rated video tapes of GRTL program to assess fidelity of implementation and analyze pre and post-test data after a 12-week period of intervention.

Study: An Efficacy Study of Handwriting Interventions for School-Aged Children, Grades 1-2.

Clinical Mentor: Karen Roston
Students: Lisa Katsir & Jessica Strauss

Handwriting is the main reason for referral in school-based settings for occupational therapists. Students in this research project assessed the efficacy of different amounts of practice. Two Handwriting Clubs were established that met 2 times a week for 6-8 weeks for 30-45 minutes, for 8-12 sessions. One group (the 8 session group) met on Mondays and Fridays at the end of the day, the other on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The NYU students ran the Monday-Friday group for 8 sessions. Students traveled to PS 199 in order to administer a standardized handwriting assessment and to run the Monday/Friday Handwriting Club. In addition, researchers were trained to score the Minnesota Handwriting Assessment by passing both the tutorial in the manual and by attending inter-rater reliability sessions at NYU. Students then analyzed the data they collected.

Study: A Qualitative Study of the Influence of Homework and Home Treatment Programs on Family Life.

Faculty Mentor: Jim Hinojosa
Students: Tara Friedman, Elana Maslow, Rachel Nayman, & Rachelle Renov

Homework is an activity that most school-age children are expected to participate in at their homes after school. For children with disabilities, this may include a home treatment program. Homework is also a common activity in which parent-child friction occurs. This study focused on the experiences and perceptions of parents and siblings about homework and/or home treatment programs and their influences on family life. The goal of this study was to describe and understand how the parents and siblings of children with disabilities engage and participate in homework/home treatment.

Study: Qualitative Study on Parental Feeding Experience with Young Children in Different Ethnic Groups.

Faculty mentors: Tsu-Hsin Howe and Jim Hinojosa
Students: Julieta Caraballo, Sarah DeFilippis, Dominique Scacciaferro, & Sarah Schupak

Feeding is one of the most important occupations for infants and is influenced by cultural beliefs and practices. An awareness of the infant feeding practices of any ethnic group is needed to be able to design and implement effective feeding intervention strategies targeted at infants of that particular ethnic group. The primary objective of the study was to learn about the feeding experience of families from various ethnic groups. Students explored information on breast feeding versus bottle feeding, the timing of introducing supplementary foods, primary and secondary sources of information about recommendations for infant feeding and dietary intake for young children. Students interviewed participants using an interview guide provided by research mentors. Students then transcribed the interviews they had conducted and used qualitative strategies to analyze the interviews. As part of this project, students completed a literature review specific to their research question and used ATLAS software to analyze these qualitative data. Students were expected to attend scheduled classes with research mentors to learn the ATLAS software for the data coding and comparative analysis.

Study: The Relationships between Feeding Problems and Parental Stress Index in Preterm Infants Under 2 Years Old.

Faculty Mentor: Tsu-Hsin Howe
Students: Melissa Bello, Kara Feller DiRocco, Robin Herskowitz, & Salma Malik

There is a high incidence rate of feeding problems in infants with prematurity. However, there is no instrument available at the present time to help therapists learn infants' feeding history systematically from their primary caretakers in order to understand feeding problems in context. The first step in addressing this is to develop a questionnaire and to establish its reliability for clinical use. In this project, students were required to complete the survey with 20 primary caretakers who had babies with a history of prematurity and who were under the age of 2 years. Prematurity is defined as gestational age ≤ 37 weeks. Students had each participant complete two questionnaires: behavioral-based feeding questionnaire and parental stress index. Students then analyzed the results of these two questionnaires to explore the possible relationship between feeding problems and the parental stress index.

Study: A Developmental Approach for Studying the Generation Effect.

Faculty Mentor: Yael Goverover
Students: Nana Adu, Lianna Mitchell, & Latrenda Thomas

The purpose of this study was to examine the generation effect in children and adolescents between the ages 7-15. The generation effect is the phenomenon that information is remembered better in comparison to information that is provided or given. The aim of this study was to examine if the Generation Effect is similar in two groups of children: 7-11 and 11-15. In this study students recruited 15 children between the ages of 7-11 and 15 between the ages of 11-15 (30 all together) and had to administer the generation effect protocol.

Study: Walking and talking: Could we do both at the same time?

Faculty Mentor: Yael Goverover.
Students: Karina Geiger, Katherine Malfucci, & Heather Penchinar

Dual tasking refers to the ability to do two things at once. Recent studies have investigated the effects of performing concurrent cognitive tasks while walking. Research suggests that under neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s, dementia or MS, performing concurrent tasks has a disproportionate effect on walking when compared to healthy controls. In this study we piloted a new procedure for the dual task paradigm in HC.

For this project, students recruited five participants between the ages of 45-60. Students were also involved in the administration of cognitive tests and functional information ration related to the topic of the study. The study took place at NYU and the project mentor was present at testing.

Study: An Investigation of the Effect of Cognitive Deficits Executive Function Deficits on the Quality of Life of Individuals One Year After They Enter Addictions Treatment.

Faculty Mentor: Gerald Voelbel
Students: Kristie Hong & Malky Kalikstein

The purpose of this project was to examine the relationship of cognitive
deficits to the quality of life in heavy chronic alcohol & substance users.
The project analyzed data from a longitudinal data set to investigate the influence cognitive deficits have on the quality of life after individuals entered addictions treatment.

Study: Establishing Face Validity of Executive Function-Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Questionnaire.

Faculty Mentor: Gerald Voelbel
Students: Jacqueline McLaurin, Anna Mortensen, & Cameron Culwell

Recently, a self-report measure was developed to examine components of
executive dysfunctions in the participation of instrumental activities of
daily living (IADL). The face validity of this instrument was explored
by administering it to seniors from the community.  

Study: Occupational Therapists’ Perceptions of their Wheelchair using Clients’ IADL Function in the Community.

Faculty Mentor: Anita Perr     
Students: Sara Hayden & Elizabeth Hogan

This project built upon one completed by last year’s group who interviewed wheelchair users about their thoughts and feelings concerning their neighborhoods and their participation in community activities. In this project, students interviewed occupational therapists about their perceptions of their discharged patients’ community access and integration. Of particular interest was learning whether occupational therapists and the client’s they serve have similar ideas about participation, accessibility and social interactions.

Study: An Effective Way of Measuring Thumb Opposition?

Faculty Mentor: Jane Bear-Lehman 
Clinical Mentor: Pamela Lawton
Students: Molly Schmidt & Samuel Quintana

The traditional method of using a ruler to measure the completion of thumb opposition is the primary method therapists rely on to document and to chart progress for those who have impaired thumb movement at the CMC joint. A new tool has been designed and is being marketed to measure thumb opposition. This inquiry looked at the utility of this new tool on a sample of normal adult women and a sample of women who have expressed injuries affecting their CMC joints and who were undergoing treatment in NYC.

Study: Comparison of Children's Participation and Enjoyment of Activities between Children with ASD and Typically Developing Children.

Faculty Mentor: Kristie Koenig
Students: Lily Sanders, Jessica Sarah Spier, & Abigail Stoll

The students interviewed an age & gender matched sample of typically developing children (6-10 years of age). They administered the CAPE/PAC and compared the results to children with High Functioning Autism or Asperger’s syndrome. Students input the data and ensured the groups were comparable. Students then performed data analysis to assess differences between groups.

Study: Lived Experience of Life Review and Reminiscence in Older Adults.

PhD Candidate mentor: Tracy Chippendale
Students: Chana Richter, Adina Salamon, & Nina Suss

Theresearch question was "What are the effect(s) of life review on spirituality in older adults?” Students wrote a theoretical base for the study with a focus on Erik Erikson’s last stage of social development. Students completed a literature review that examined the effectiveness of life review as an intervention tool. The second part of the project entailed semi-structured interviews with older adults to investigate how life review enhances meaning in life. Students were required to have access to people age 70 years of age or older and audio recording equipment. This was part of a larger quantitative study that will examine the effects of life review on depressive symptoms and life satisfaction in older adults.

Study: Personal Space and Friendship in Adolescents with Asperger’s Syndrome.

PhD Candidate mentor: Alisha Ohl
Students: Kristen Gibson, Naomi Siegel, & Heidi Torres-Fewell

Adolescents with Asperger’s syndrome (AS) often violate the personal space of their peers. These personal space violations have been hypothesized to contribute to difficulties developing friendships; however, this hypothesis remains unexplored in the research literature. The purpose of this study was to examine how personal space relates to the ability to develop friendships, friend characteristics, and friendship quality among adolescents with AS and a control group of neurotypical adolescents living in a large metropolitan area in the Northeast. Students assisted in recruiting adolescent participants (ages 12 to 18) and with administering the following instruments: Asperger’s Syndrome Diagnostic Scale (ASDS), Parent questionnaire, Berndt’s Assessment of Friendship Features, and the stop-distance procedure. This study took place at NYU during evenings and weekends

Study: Survey of the Role of the Occupational Therapist in Inclusive Classrooms of the Elementary Schools.

PhD Candidate Mentor: Chiao-Ju Fang
Students: Sandra Ghelman & Michelle Levin

This project focused on the current inclusion classrooms in the elementary school district. Students read relevant literature and based on the qualitative research data collected last year, developed a survey utilizing a web-based program (survey monkey) that looked to identify what OT roles have been in schools. The main questions in this study were: 1) what is considered best practice in occupational therapy for inclusion? and 2) what steps do we, as staff members, need to take to get there? This survey also tested the face validity from OT experts to obtain a context rich picture of current experiences.

Study: Qualitative study to find the most commonly used assessment measures by the practicing OTs to assess feeding issues in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Mentor: Satvika Garg
Students: Jenalyn Carino Abalos. Tanzina Ali, & Kathy Chan

Students sent out a survey to identify the most commonly used assessment scales and outcome measures by the practicing pediatric OTs (in schools and clinics) to assess feeding issues in children (3-5 years) with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Students analyzed the data and prepared a presentation of the findings.

Fall 2009

Led by Jane Bear-Lehman, Associate Professor and Department Chair, the two-semester course sequence, E40.2724 Occupational Therapy Research: Project Design (summer 2009) and E40.2725 Occupational Therapy Research (fall 2009) combined lectures and laboratory sessions with faculty sponsored group research projects. The following is a listing of the 2009 research projects.

Study: How stress reactions from traumatic hand injuries influence the patient's response to and participation in hand care occupational therapy.

Faculty Mentors: Sally Poole and Jane Bear-Lehman

This descriptive study used the Impact of Event Scale to determine stress reactions and how they could influence a person's ability to participate in therapy. It sought to study whether intrusive thinking and/or periods of avoidance (normal responses to stress) could impact occupational therapy treatment. The study asked a small group of individuals who had hand injuries about the events and circumstances surrounding their injury and their reactions to it. The interviews took place in local hand clinics.

Study: Ongoing program evaluation and development- NYU Entry-Level OT Program-Perceptions of Older Adults.

Faculty Mentors: Karen Buckley and Sally Poole

Students assessed the entering professional OT class regarding their perceptions of older adults in this continuing study. Utilizing an established AOTA survey and the electronic survey tool, Survey Monkey, research students selected questions regarding existing beliefs about working adults, and attitudes towards working with them. The surveys were administered and data collected from the occupational therapy entering and on-going classes. Analyses were performed for the initial phase of this ongoing program evaluation project.

Study: Ongoing program evaluation and development-NYU Entry-Level OT Program-Perception of the occupational therapy curriculum effectiveness.

Faculty Mentor: Karen Buckley

As part of NYU's ongoing program evaluation, an electronic survey was administered to students in Level II Fieldwork to provide feedback about how the experiences of Level I influenced them. The research students selected questions that were pertinent to topics required for the Department's accreditation. Surveys were administered and data was also collected from NYU OT graduates. Data analysis was then performed for the initial phase of this ongoing program evaluation project.

Study: What is an effective way to measure thumb opposition?

Faculty Mentor: Jane Bear-Lehman
Clinical Doctoral Student: Pamela Lawton

The traditional method of measuring the completion of thumb opposition is with a ruler. Therapists rely on this primary method to document and to chart progress for those who have impaired thumb movement at the CMC joint. A new tool, designed by Hareau has been designed and is being marketed to measure thumb opposition. This inquiry looked at the utility of this new tool on a sample of normal adult women, and on a sample of women who had expressed injuries affecting their CMC joints and were undergoing treatment in NYC.

Study: An Efficacy Study of Handwriting Interventions for School-Aged Children, Grades 1-2.

Clinical Mentor: Karen Roston

Handwriting is the main reason for referral to occupational therapists in school-based settings. Students took part in a research project designed to assess the efficacy of two treatment approaches. In order to compare two interventions, two Handwriting Clubs were established to improve a child's legibility. One focused on practice and the other focused on visually directed activities. The Clubs met 2 times a week for 6-8 weeks for 30-45 minutes, over a range of 12-18 sessions. The NYU students ran the group for visually directed activities and developed a protocol for them, with the help of Karen Roston.

Study: Ongoing program evaluation and development-NYU Entry-Level OT Program-Multi-Cultural Awareness as part of the new curriculum.

Faculty Mentors: Karen Buckley and Sally Poole

This is a follow up study in which students assessed the professional OT classes regarding their multi-cultural awareness and sensitivity. As part of NYU's OT program mission statement, a goal of the program is to educate students to prepare them to work with clients from a variety of racial, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds often differing from their own. Utilizing an electronic survey tool, Survey Monkey, research students selected questions that were pertinent to the topic of multi-cultural awareness and sensitivity. Surveys were administered and data collected from first year OT students. Analyses were performed for the initial phase of this ongoing program evaluation project.

Study: Behavioral-Based Feeding Questionnaire: Baseline Study of Full Term Infants from Ages 0 to 2.

Faculty Mentors: Tsu-Hsin Howe

There is a high incidence rate of feeding problems in infants with prematurity. However, there is no instrument available at the present time to help therapists learn infants' feeding history systematically from their primary care takers, in order to understand feeding problems in context. The first step to creating such an instrument is to develop a questionnaire and to establish its reliability for clinical use. In this project, students were responsible for completing a survey with 20 primary care takers, who had babies under the age of 2 with no premature history. Students had each participant complete two questionnaires: a behavioral-based feeding questionnaire and a parental stress index. Students then analyzed the results of these two questionnaires to examine: 1. the distribution of feeding problems in full term infants from 0 to 2 years old, 2. the results obtained from the parental stress index, and 3. the relationship between feeding problems and parental distress.

Study: Survey of Preferred Interests in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Faculty Mentor: Kristie Koenig

Students sent out a survey utilizing a web-based program that sought to identify how preferred or circumscribed interests (often labeled obsessions or perseverations) are used in school/work, social, leisure, and everyday activities by adults who are diagnosed with ASD. Students also analyzed the data.

Study: Comparison of Children's Participation and Enjoyment of Activities between children with ASD and typically developing children.

Faculty Mentor: Kristie Koenig

Students interviewed an age and gender matched sample of typically developing children (grades K-2), administered the CAPE/PAC questionnaire, and compared the results to those of children with ASD. Students then performed data analysis to assess differences between the two groups. Students also observed interviews of children with ASD conducted by the practicing therapists.

Study: Environmental Affordances and Attachment to Community among Wheelchair Users.

Faculty Mentor: Anita Perr

This project sought to describe the community features that people with disabilities consider important. Using literature concerning place attachment and community attachment, students developed research questions that enabled them to select and explore one aspect of this larger project. Students conducted interviews of participants using a script provided by Anita Perr. They investigated the transcribed transcripts for themes and details related to their research questions.
The aim of this project is to eventually identify how people with disabilities view attachment- is it accessibility, is it services, is it community activism, is it cultural resources, etc. The long term plan for this project is then to identify how an occupational therapist might be able to foster community integration by people with disabilities.

Study: Serial Effect and the Generation Effect in Multiple Sclerosis and Healthy Controls.

Mentors: Hali Wood and Yael Goverover

This study examined the interaction between the Serial Position Effect and the Generation Effect in people suffering from Multiple Sclerosis. The Serial Position Effect is the tendency to remember the beginning and ending portions of a list, but to forget the middle section. There have been studies to map the cognitive profile of the Serial Position Effect in people with Alzheimer's and vascular dementia, but as of yet it has not been evaluated in the MS population. It has been hypothesized that people with cognitive impairments resulting from MS would benefit from learning with the Generation Effect. The Generation Effect is the phenomenon that information is remembered better in comparison to information that is provided or given. It was of particular interest to this research to see if the Generation Effect would play a role in amelioration of the Serial Position Effect in people with MS.
This study sought to map the cognitive profile of the Serial Position Effect in people with various levels of cognitive impairments (participants with MS and healthy controls). In this study students recruited 10 healthy participants between the ages of 18-60 and were involved in the administering of cognitive tests.

Study: An Examination of the Benefits of Combining Two Learning Strategies on Memory of Functional Information in Persons with Multiple Sclerosis and Healthy Controls.

Mentor: Yael Goverover

The Spacing Effect is a phenomenon in which one's memory and learning is improved when learning trials are distributed over time (spaced presentation) compared to consecutive learning trials (massed presentation). Self-generation is another learning strategy where individuals are asked to produce their own words or concepts to improve their learning and memory. Students sought to examine the effect of the combination of generated and spaced conditions on learning and memory in comparison to massed and spaced conditions alone. They hypothesized that the combination of those two learning strategies would yield significant results in terms of learning and memory.
For this project, students recruited five participants between the ages of 45-60. Students were also involved in the administration of cognitive tests and functional info ration related to the topic of the study.

Study: An Investigation of Different Problem Solving Skills and the Effects of Physical Symptoms on Cognitive Performance.

Mentor: Gerald Voelbel

The purpose of this project was to examine the relationship of planning and problem solving skills to a task of hypothesis testing and common physical symptom complaints that are associated with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The Tower of Hanoi and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test are both considered measures of executive function. The Tower of Hanoi is a cognitive task that requires planning to solve the puzzle. The Wisconsin Card Sorting Test is a measure of hypothesis testing. The Tower of Hanoi does not require immediate feedback for each step; however, after each step during the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test the participant is given immediate feedback. It is unclear if physical complaints commonly associated with TBI moderate this relationship. This study investigated the relationship between two common clinically useful executive function tasks and how that relationship can be affected by physical complaints. This study collected data from 20 healthy adults above the age of 18.

Study: Development of a Self-Report Questionnaire of Activities of Daily Living.

Mentor: Gerald Voelbel

This project developed a questionnaire that assessed cognitive impairments that can lead to a lack of participation of activities of daily living (ADL). A recent study by Gerald Voelbel and colleagues demonstrated that in individuals with Multiple Sclerosis, poorer cognitive planning skill was related to the level of assistance needed to complete ADL, such as cooking, managing bills, and taking medications. However, the amount of effort required to assess the level of assistance needed during ADL may be decreased with the development of a questionnaire that allowed participants to self-report assistance levels. This project included performing a literature search of relevant research articles and developing a questionnaire that could assess participation and level of assistance needed during ADL.

Study: The Effectiveness of Life Review and Listening-Responding in Decreasing Depressive Symptoms in the Older Adult.

PhD Candidate mentor: Tracy Chippendale

The research question for this study was, "What are the effect(s) of life review and listening responding on depressive symptoms in the older adult?". Students were required to write a theoretical base for the study with a focus on Erik Erikson's last stage of social development. A literature review followed that examined research supporting the effectiveness of life review on decreasing depressive symptoms in older adults. The second part of the project entailed conversations with older adults to determine their interest level in a workshop on life review, as well as information on barriers to participation and incentives for participation. The data gathered will help the primary investigator recruit participants for the study.

Study: Study of Hand Size and Joint Hypermobility in Healthy Young Adults.

Faculty Mentor: Jane Bear-Lehman
PhD Candidate: Siaw Chui Chai

This study sought to explore the differences in hand size measurement and the incidence of joint hypermobility, primarily the elbow, hand and fingers in healthy young adults. The study involved the measurement of hand size using a ruler and the measurement of joint range of motion using a goniometer. Subjects of this study were recruited conveniently among NYU students on campus.

Study: The Role of the Occupational Therapists in Inclusive Classrooms of New York City

PhD Candidate mentor: Chiao-Ju Fang

This project focused on the roles and responsibilities of school-based occupational therapists (OTs) working in New York City public school institutions. The questions in this study were: 1) What is considered best practice in occupational therapy for inclusion in New York City? and 2) What steps do we, as staff members, need to take to get there? This project utilized interview data obtained from occupational therapists who work in inclusive classrooms in New York City, to obtain a context-rich picture of current experiences.


Fall 2008

Jane Bear-Lehman, Associate Professor and Department Chair, taught the two-semester course sequence, E40.2724 Occupational Therapy Research: Project Design (summer 2008) and E40.2725 Occupational Therapy Research (fall 2008). This sequence was comprised of guided research projects for students in addition to lectures and laboratory sessions. Below is a sampling of the group projects presented during the summer and fall of 2008 by Professional Program students.

Study: To what extent do individuals who have had total knee or total hip replacements use the adaptive equipment provided to them during their rehabilitation at The Burke Rehabilitation Hospital?

Faculty Mentors: Sally Poole
Clinical Mentor: Serena Berger (Burke)
Students: Friedman, Daniella;  Miller, Melissa Jennifer;  Rabinovich, Asya

Patients at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, White Plains, New York are given a package of adaptive equipment to facilitate their adherence to safety precautions during the post-operative period following knee or hip joint replacement surgery.  This study sought to determine the cost-effectiveness of providing adaptive equipment to hip arthroplasty patients.  The therapists at Burke have collected data about both the kind of equipment issued and also about how this equipment is used by patients at home. Thus, students at NYU performed data analysis using SPSS in order to learn which pieces of equipment were used more often than others, and whether factors such as age, gender or body traits were relevant to the use of the equipment. 

Study: Ongoing Program Evaluation and Development: NYU Entry-Level OT Program - Perceptions of Older Adults.

Faculty Mentors: Karen Buckley and Sally Poole
Students: Fried, Elisheva; Klein, Sarit; Moskowitz, Elisheva; Muller, Erica

Students assessed how the entering professional OT class perceived older adults.  A survey was developed by selecting questions (from an established AOTA survey) pertaining to attitudes towards working with older adults and beliefs about older adults. The survey was administered using the electronic survey tool Zoomergang, data was collected, and analyses were performed as part of this initial phase of the ongoing program evaluation project.

Study: To what extent are hand strength outcome scores influenced by knowing what the score is while engaged in voluntary isometric contraction against the instrument?

Faculty Mentors: Jane Bear-Lehman
PhD Candidate: Gwen Weinstock
Students: Elbogen, Risa;  Reisman-Rothberger, Cheryl;  Weinstein, Chana; Schoenfeld, Rachelle

This study explored the impact of visual feedback on grip strength scores.   The hand-held Jamar dynamometer is commonly used to assess hand strength.  This hand-held tool is designed such that the outcome score cannot be visually seen while the test is underway.  Alternatively, the Jamar hand-held pinch meter allows for the host to see how the gauge advances during the voluntary squeezing effort.  The study sought to investigate to what extent scores are higher when the host can monitor the gauge compared to when the gauge cannot be monitored.  Two testing scenarios were set up: one that allowed for feedback during the test administration, and one that did not allow feedback during testing.  

Study: What is an effective way to measure thumb opposition?

Faculty Mentor:  Jane Bear-Lehman
Clinical Doctoral Student: Pamela Lawton
Students: Braham, Susan; Carbo, Janelle

The traditional method of using a ruler to measure the completion of thumb opposition is the primary method that therapists rely on to document and chart the progress of those who have impaired movement at the CMC joint.  A new tool has been designed and marketed for the measurement of thumb opposition.  This study looked at the utility of this new tool in a sample of normal adult women and a sample of women who have experienced injuries affecting their CMC joints and are undergoing treatment in NYC. 

Study: The influence of Homework and Home Treatment Programs on Family Life.

Faculty Mentor:  Jim Hinojosa
Students: Eckert, Danielle; Fiumara, Emily; Young, Jessica; Welch, Paula

This study sought to describe and understand the experiences and perceptions of parents and their children about engaging in homework/home treatment.  Homework is an activity that most school-age children are expected to participate in and for children with disabilities this may include a home treatment program.  Homework is also a common activity in which parent-child friction occurs.   The focus of this study was how homework and/ or home treatment programs are experienced and perceived by parents and siblings and how it influences family life.  To gain this knowledge, families with children between the ages of 8-11 were interviewed about their homework or home treatment experiences.

Study: An Efficacy Study of Handwriting Interventions for School-Aged Children, Grades 1-2.

Faculty Mentor: Jim Hinojosa
Clinical Doctoral Student: Karen Roston
Students: Duncan, Celeste; Greenberg, Lauren; Lewin, Rebecca; Strand, Vanessa

Handwriting is the principal reason in school-based settings for referral to occupational therapists.  In this research project, students assessed the efficacy of two treatment approaches: an intervention focused on practice and an intervention focused on visually directed activities.  In order to compare the two interventions, two Handwriting Clubs were established for improvement of children's legibility.  Standardized handwriting assessments were administered by the researchers and the data was analyzed.

Study: Ongoing Program Evaluation and Development: NYU Entry-Level OT Program - Multi-Cultural Awareness as Part of the New Curriculum.

Faculty Mentors: Karen Buckley and Sally Poole
Students: Abrams, Dena; Olshanitsky, Russell; Rivera, Odalis Gladys; Kado, Masayo

One goal of the OT program at NYU is to educate students to prepare them to work with clients from a variety of racial, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds.  This study assessed the professional OT class' multi-cultural awareness and sensitivity.  Questions pertinent to the topic were selected from an established AOTA survey and presented using the electronic survey, Zoomerang. Surveys were administered and data collected from first year OT students. Analyses were performed for this initial phase of the ongoing program evaluation project.

Study: What are the inter-rater and intra-rater reliabilities of the "Posture and Fine Motor Assessment of Infants"?

Faculty Mentor: Tsu-Hsin Howe
PhD Doctoral Candidate: Tien-Ni Wang
Students: Lesin, Rachel; McKenzie, Kesha; Morimoto, Sonoko; Mouldovan, Talia; Pierozzi, Christina

Posture and fine motor assessment of infants (PFMAI) is a clinical assessment designed to help therapists rate qualitative aspects of a child's motor response. In this project, students recruited 6 infants (between 2 and 6 months of age, or a group of 6 infants between 6 and 12 months of age) and videotaped them performing assigned tasks in a naturalistic environment. Students scored infants' performance using PFMAI and analyzed data to determine the reliability of the assessment results.

Study: Feeding Problems in Preterm Infants.

Faculty Mentor: Tsu-Hsin Howe
Students: Berkovits, Nurit; Gross, Rochelle; Rekant, Leah; Steinberg, Rachel

This interpretative literature review examined documented feeding problems associated with preterm infants. It relied on printed source material and followed a systematic review format to determine what was known in the current research.

Study: Exploratory study on infants who have feeding problems.

Faculty Mentor: Tsu-Hsin Howe
Student: Fary, Mackenzie; Khan, Razia; Lynch, Sarah; Pevsner, Janet; Rosenthal, Rachel

There is a high incidence of feeding problems in premature infants. However, there is no instrument available at the present time to help therapists learn about an infant's feeding history systematically from their primary caretakers.   This study developed a questionnaire suitable for collecting such information and established its reliability for clinical use. Students conducted interviews with care takers who have babies under age of 18 months and administered questionnaires.

Study: Study of the Face Validity of the Social Skills Measurement Checklist.

Faculty Mentor: Paula McCreedy
Students: Klein, Alexandra; Klymasz, Cristina; Tammam, Dalia; Zheng, Jennie

This study reviewed the Social Behaviors Checklist for face validity and addressed its utility for occupational therapy.  The Social Behaviors Checklist was previously developed by a student research group in an effort to explore the documentation of occupational therapists in describing children exhibiting problematic behaviors in school settings.

Study: Survey of Preferred Interests in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Faculty Mentor: Kristie Koenig
Students: Rodriguez, Alexandra; Spiegelman, Esther; Weinstein, Nicole; Zabell, David

Utilizing the web-based program, survey monkey, this study developed a survey that sought to identify how preferred or circumscribed interests have been utilized in school/work, social, leisure, and everyday activities by adults who are diagnosed with ASD.

Study: Comparison of Children's Participation and Enjoyment of Activities between Children with ASD and Typically Developing Children.

Faculty Mentor: Kristie Koenig
Students: Landau, Sherry; Mayes, Guillermo; Picazo, Frena Lynne; Turetsky, Dina

In this study, students interviewed an age- and gender-matched sample of typically developing children (grades K-2) and gave the CAPE/PAC in order to conduct a comparison with children with ASD.  Students performed data analysis to assess the differences between the two groups.

Study: The Clinician's View of Accessibility.

Faculty Mentor: Anita Perr
Students: Ettlinger, Elisheva; Hines, Jessica; Siev, Elissa

This study sought to determine how rehabilitation clinicians address environmental accessibility with their clients. After a literature review including the definitions of environmental accessibility and an overview of the legislation that governs access in the US, students developed a survey containing questions related to environmental access, disability and activity performance.  The survey was administered to OTs, PTs and ATPs in order to gather the necessary information regarding the clinicians and the clients with whom they work.

Study: Underlying Mechanisms of Handwriting Ability in Primary School Children.

PhD Doctoral Student: Tzu-Ying Yu
Students: Reid, Caitlin; Soled, Tamar; Weinblatt, Alyssa; Zimmerman, Nora

Proficient handwriting is one of the scholastic skills that children need to acquire in order to meet the common demands of classroom work at primary school. Unfortunately, handwriting difficulties are commonly observed in children at primary schools. The aim of this study was to investigate the factors involved in a handwriting task in primary children.


2007

Jane Bear-Lehman, Associate Professor and Department Chair, taught the two-semester course sequence: E40.2724 Occupational Therapy Research: Project Design (summer 2007) and E40.2725 Occupational Therapy Research (fall 2007). This sequence was comprised of guided research projects for students, in addition to lectures and laboratory sessions. Below is a sampling of the group projects presented during the summer and fall of 2007 by Professional Program students.

Study: Current Postoperative Management of Zone V and VI Extensor Tendon Injuries.

Faculty Mentor: Sally Poole
Student: Siaw Chui Chai

This study investigated the current postoperative management of zones V and VI extensor tendon injuries.  The information was collected from a sampling of Certified Hand Therapists from the New York metropolitan area.

Study: A Look at Occupational Therapists' Documentation of Social Skills and Social Competency among Children Exhibiting Problems with School-Related Occupations.

Faculty Mentors: Paula McCreedy and Jane Bear-Lehman
Students: Lolia Halperin, Ching-I Hsu, and Rachana Rajendra Mhatre

This study analyzed the social skills and competency of children exhibiting difficulties with school-related occupations, as reflected in notes taken by occupational therapists at the SPOTS (Special Programs in Occupational Therapy Services) clinic in New York.

Study: Responsiveness of the Chinese Version of the Manual Ability Measure.

Faculty Mentor: Jane Bear-Lehman
Student: Chiao-Ju Fang

This study was designed to determine the validity of the Chinese version of the Manual Ability Measure (MAM) in assessing the effectiveness of hand therapy intervention.  

Study: Test-Retest Reliability and the Relationship between Self-Report and Results of the Performance Measurement of Hand Function.

Faculty Mentor:  Jane Bear-Lehman
Student: Cheng-Hao Lee

The purpose of this study was to examine the test-retest reliability of the Taiwanese version of the Manual Ability Measure (T-MAM), and to examine the relationship between the T-MAM, a self-reported questionnaire of hand ability, and the Purdue Pegboard Test, a performance-based measurement of hand dexterity.  Subjects were a sample of Taiwanese individuals receiving out-patient occupational therapy services. 

Study: Using the Minnesota Handwriting Assessment and the Handwriting Checklist to Screen Handwriting Legibility in Children Between the Ages of 5 and 8 in a Special Education Program.

Faculty Mentor:  Jim Hinojosa
Students: Colleen Shine and Shannie Easterby

The purpose of this study was to verify whether or not the Handwriting Checklist can determine the need for a full occupational therapy evaluation in special education children who have been referred to therapy due to handwriting deficits.  The Minnesota Handwriting Assessment (MHA) was used to assess the legibility of the students' handwriting and the Handwriting Checklist was used as a screening tool.

Study: The Effects of Exercise on Attention in Children with Autism.

Faculty Mentor: Anita Perr
Students: Marla Burroughs, Rebecca Gilchrist, Julia Kogan, and Inna Vinokurov

This study examined the relevant literature in order to investigate the development of knowledge regarding the impact of exercise on attention.

Study: Evaluating Memory and the Learning of Functional Tasks: Spaced, Massed and Spaced Self- Generated Conditions among Healthy Controls and Individuals with Multiple Sclerosis.

Faculty Mentor: Yael Goverover
Students: Rebecca Kannapell, Cristina Septien, Maia Watkins, and Alla Zlotnikov

This study examined whether using a combination of self-generated strategy with special learning trials would improve functional information learning in persons with Multiple Sclerosis.

Study: An Examination of the Benefits of Applying the Combined Generation and Spacing Effect in Healthy Candidates and Individuals with Multiple Sclerosis.

Faculty Mentor: Yael Goverover
Students: Tracey Bates, Michelle Cerbone, and Gloria Juarez

This study sought to identify the effect of spaced-generated learning conditions on memory and recall in healthy individuals and individuals with Multiple Sclerosis.

Study: An Interdisciplinary Approach: The Use of Video Tracking Systems in Pediatric Occupational Therapy.

Faculty Mentor: Anita Perr
Students: Alison Goldberg, Nicole Harden, and Lane Soden

This literature review established the therapeutic value of virtual reality in pediatric occupational therapy.

Study: Using the Handwriting Checklist to Determine the Influence of Gender on Pencil Grasp Development in First and Second Grade Children.

Faculty Mentor: Jim Hinojosa
Students: Carly Jacobson, Ilana Dubin, Carianne Kent, and Esther Kahan

This study used the Handwriting Checklist to determine the influence of gender on the grasp patterns of first and second grade children.

Study: The Influence of Gender on Grasp Development in First and Second Grade Children.

Faculty Mentor: Jim Hinojosa
Students: Lauren Brukner, Adina Friedman, Liron Sherer, and Leah Weiss

This study sought to determine the influence of gender on the grasp patterns of first and second grade children.

Study: A Quantitative Analysis of Organizational Culture among 2nd Year New York University Occupational Therapy Students.

Faculty Mentor: Francine Seruya
Students: Rachel Fishman, Laura Kevlin, Sara Rogers,and Jennifer Shedlock

The purpose of this exploratory study was to determine the organizational culture of current OT students by quantitative measurement.

Study: Assessing the Reliability and Validity of the Durometer.

Faculty Mentors: Anita Simons and Jane Bear-Lehman
Students: Megan Gotlieb, Chaim Lapp, and Rebecca Rosenblum

This study examined the validity and reliability of the durometer tool for the effective measurement of scar pliability.

Study: Ongoing Program Evaluation and Development: New York University Entry-Level Occupational Therapy Program - Perceptions of Older Adults.

Faculty Mentors: Karen Buckley and Sally Poole
Students: Bridget Burke, Shannon Hearty, Yuko Ichihara, and Jennifer Vasquez

Students assessed the entering professional OT class's perceptions of older adults. Surveys were administered and data was collected from the entering and on-going classes.

Study: Accreditation, Program Evaluation, and Curriculum Development: The Effectiveness of New York University's Professional Program in Occupational Therapy.

Faculty Mentor: Karen Buckley
Students: Sarah Bowen, Wendy Lee, and Jennifer Lista

This project obtained the perceptions of recent graduates regarding the curriculum's effectiveness in preparing them for employment as occupational therapists.

Study: NYU Student Feedback: Academic Preparation for Clinical Fieldwork Success and a Review of the SEFWE Form.

Faculty Mentors: Paula McCreedy and Jane Bear-Lehman
Students: Kelly Lynn Baitinger, Janelle Bullen, Chane Moser, and SmitaPrakash

The purpose of this study was to review and evaluate current NYU occupational therapy student feedback regarding their academic preparation for fieldwork, as reported on the Student Evaluation of Fieldwork Experience (SEFWE) from. In addition, researchers also reviewed and evaluated the usefulness and efficiency of the SEFWE form in communicating that information.

Study: Inherent Personal Influences that Contribute to a Traumatic Hand Injury.

Faculty Mentors: Sally Poole and Jane Bear-Lehman
Students: Aliza Brand, Karen Rabinowicz, and Sarah Sandhaus

The purpose of this study was to explore the personal characteristics that contribute to traumatic hand injuries.

Study: To What Extent Do Individuals Who Have Undergone Hip Surgery Use the Adaptive Equipment Provided to Them During Rehabilitation Therapy?

Faculty Mentor: Sally Poole
Students: Keiva Anderson, Umair Farooq, and Danison Suveeharan

This study sought to determine the cost-effectiveness of providing adaptive equipment to hip arthroplasty patients at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital in White Plains, New York.

Study: Grip Strength Testing - Does Visual Feedback Impact Scores?

Faculty Mentor: Jane Bear-Lehman
Students: Margaret Burdo, Jennifer Eisenberg and Laura Vasquez

This study explored the impact of visual feedback on grip strength scores.


Fall 2006

Taught by Associate Professor and Department Chair Jane Bear-Lehman, the two-semester course sequence, E40.2724 Occupational Therapy Research: Project Design (summer 2006) and E40.2725 Occupational Therapy Research (fall 2006), comprises guided research projects for students, in addition to lectures and laboratory. Below is a sampling of the group projects presented on December 6th and 8th, 2006, by Professional Program students upon completion of the sequence.

Study: From Classroom to Clinic: Does NYU's Professional Program in Occupational Therapy Prepare Students for Level II Fieldwork?

Faculty Members: Karen Buckley, M.A., OT/L, Clinical Assistant Professor
Students: Heather Anderson, Melissa Kong, Lauren Selsky, and Christina Szermer

Program evaluation is a valuable tool for reviewing and assessing the effectiveness of an educational program. In this study, an online survey given to students in NYU's Professional Program in Occupational Therapy was used to determine the extent to which they felt the curriculum effectively prepared them for Level II fieldwork.

Study: Normative Measurements of Arm Girth: A Comparison of Dominant and Non-Dominant Upper Extremities

Faculty Member: Sally Poole, M.A., OT, CHT, Clinical Assistant Professor
Students: Ruth Oppenheimer, Diane Liebman, Ruth Metzger, and Angela Bussolini

This study aimed to establish standardized data regarding normal adults' dominant and non-dominant arm girths. The goal and primary purpose of the study is to aid clinicians looking for an accurate baseline in the treatment of an edematous upper extremity.

Study: Hip Arthroplasty and Assistive Devices at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital

Faculty Members: Sally Poole, M.A., OT, CHT, Clinical Assistant Professor
Project Adviser: Serena Berger, M.A., OTR, Burke Rehabilitation Hospital in White Plains
Students: Rachel Goldberg, Janet Krzemienski, Byron Miller, and Sarah Siegel

The authors of this study created a survey to gather qualitative and quantitative information regarding patients' use of assistive devices after undergoing a hip arthroplasty. An additional questionnaire was later given to both patients and occupational therapists at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital to determine the face validity of the original survey.

Study: Multicultural Sensitivity in First Year NYU Occupational Therapy Students

Faculty Member: Karen Buckley, M.A., OT/L, Clinical Assistant Professor
Students: Elaine Chang, Shannon DeMoss, and Vivian Shapiro

Based on the belief that occupational therapy students need to be prepared for work with individuals who have different values, beliefs, and behaviors than those of their own, this study was conducted to examine multicultural awareness. The study explored how multiculturalism is taught to students in occupational therapy and what the perceived level of multicultural sensitivity is for first year occupational therapy students at NYU. Results of the study may be used to influence curriculum or course changes.

Study: Measuring Scar Tissue Post-Carpal Tunnel Release

Faculty Member: Jane Bear-Lehman, Ph.D., OTR, FAOTA, Associate Professor
Project Adviser: Anita Simons, M.A., OTR, CHT
Students: Yakima Brown, Christen Garcia, Tamara Ricaforte, and Sunny Tsang

This exploratory study looked at the use of the Durameter in measuring scar tissue density over a four-week period post-carpal tunnel release while the subjects participated in occupational therapy treatment.

Study: Barriers Contributing to the Use of Services Provided by the Adaptive Design Association

Faculty Member: Anita Perr, M.A., OT, ATP, FAOTA, Clinical Assistant Professor
Students: Nina Britz, Jeannine Fletcher, Susanne Griffin, and Lauren Rosenbaum

This descriptive, retrospective study investigated whether participants used the skills they had learned in the Adaptive Design Association, Inc. (ADA) programs. This group of students analyzed data from surveys collected by the ADA. The study was requested by the ADA to determine the effectiveness of their work and to plan changes for their training programs.

Study: Does Transitional Pencil Grasp Affect Legibility in First Graders?

Faculty Members: Jim Hinojosa, Ph.D., OT, FAOTA, Professor and Chair
Project Adviser: Karen Roston, Ph.D., OTR
Students: Erin Gregg, Christine Kozlik, Donna Riggio, and Kadiya Romeo

As part of a larger study related to handwriting legibility, students administered the Minnesota Test of Handwriting to determine how pencil grasp, particularly transitional pencil grasp, affects handwriting accuracy. First graders from a public school in New York City participated in this research study.

Study: Boredom: The Evasive Feeling

Project Adviser: Antonietta Corvinelli, M.A., OTR
Students: Shannon Kraus and Erin Nastro

The purpose of the study was to qualitatively research and seek to understand the experience of boredom in typically developing adults. The participants in the study were interviewed twice using a boredom protocol created by the adviser to generate themes using constant comparison analysis.

Study: Functional Application of the Spacing Effect

Faculty Members: Yael Goverover, Ph.D., OT, Assistant Professor
Students: Patricia Campbell, Linda Huang, Sarah Matthews, and Annsley Miller

This study examined "spacing effect," the phenomena of an individual's learning and memory improving when trials are distributed over time ("spaced presentation") compared to consecutive learning trials ("massed presentation"). The spacing effect was studied in two functional tasks (paragraph learning and map route learning) in healthy adults.

Study: Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile: Sensory Avoiding Behaviors Related to Bipolar Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder

Faculty Member: Dr. Mary Donohue, Clinical Professor (retired)
Project Adviser: Fran Babiss, Ph.D., OTR, South Oaks Hospital in Amityville, NY
Students: Kathryn Magill, Brandon Morris, and Kirsten Seacor

The focus of this study was to determine if individuals who meet the DSM-IV criteria for bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder were more predisposed to having sensory avoidant behaviors as well. Understanding these variations in sensory processing patterns could prove essential in determining appropriate interventions for individuals with emotional disorders.

Study: Social Skills and Sensory Regulation in Five- to Seven-Year-Old Boys: An Exploratory Study

Faculty Member: Jane Bear-Lehman, Ph.D., OTR, FAOTA, Associate Professor
Students: Rebecca Berg, Ronni Armellino, Lauren Cardoni, and Shannon Mistretta

From the conception of sensory integration theory, anecdotal observations of sensory regulation dysfunction existing concomitantly with social skills dysfunction have pervaded the literature. This study reviewed evaluation reports in boys identified with sensory regulatory behavior in relationship to behaviors derived from the Social Skills Rating System.

Study: Behavioral Indicators Associated with ADHD and Taste Sensitivity: An Exploratory Study

Faculty Member: Paula McCreedy, M.Ed., OTR/L, Clinical Assistant Professor
Students: Amy Albenda, Abby Futterman, Marisa Gruber, and Alyssa Wanamaker

The purpose of this exploratory study was to investigate whether children displaying indicators of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more likely to demonstrate oral-motor and taste sensitivities. If early detectors of ADHD are established, they can be used as red flags to facilitate in the diagnosis of ADHD.

Study: Social Identity Among Pediatric Occupational Therapists: An Exploration of Organizational and Professional Commitment

Project Adviser: Francine Seruya, M.A., OTR
Students: Elissa Pinter, Rachel Rauch, Rachel Waltuch, and Deena Weinstein

The social context of a particular work setting plays a significant role in establishing a therapist's degree of social identity as an individual. With a strong sense of social identity, an individual can experience an increase in the development of their organizational commitment, professional commitment, and job satisfaction. This study compared the job satisfaction of occupational therapists in school and non-school based settings.


Fall 2005

The two-semester course sequence, E40.2724 Occupational Therapy Research: Project Design, taught during the summer of 2005, and E40.2725 Occupational Therapy Research, taught in the fall of 2005 by Associate Professor Jane Bear-Lehman, comprises guided research projects for students, in addition to lectures and laboratory. Below is a sampling of the group projects presented on December 6th & 8th, 2005, by Professional Program in Occupational Therapy students upon completion of the sequence.

Study: Perceptions of Older Adults

Faculty Members: Karen Buckley, Clinical Assistant Professor
Students: Geralin Kulpecz, Lauren Landy, Michelle Sanchez

Analysis of NYU occupational therapy students' attitudes toward older adults, for on-going program evaluation and development.

Study: Is There a Difference in Arm Girth when Comparing the Dominant and Non-dominant Arm?

Faculty Members: Sally Poole, Clinical Assistant Professor
Students: Eileen Carroll, Kristen Ryan, Jody Sabel, Lily Seigel

Currently, there is no normative data that provides baseline measurements comparing the dominant and non-dominant arm for limb size. This information will be useful clinically when setting goals for individuals who experience a change in limb size due to edema orlymphadema.

Study: Patient Use of Adaptive Equipment After Discharge

Faculty Members: Sally Poole, Clinical Assistant Professor
Project Adviser: Serena Berger, M.A., OTR
Students: Jennifer DiCaro, Pepie Lapsatis, Michelle Seruya, Kelly Szczerba

Total knee and total hip replacement patients were surveyed on their use of adaptive equipment (either provided to them or available for purchase) following discharge from Burke Rehabilitation Center in White Plains, NY. Our research sought to identify trends and usage patterns among people of varying demographic characteristics, such as age, gender, diagnosis, and body mass index.

Study: Multi-Cultural Awareness of First and Second and Third Year Occupational Therapy Students at New York University

Faculty Members: Karen Buckley, Clinical Assistant Professor
Students: Irene Dionisio, Stephanie Freudenberger, Kellee Ng, Tara Pena

Based on the belief that occupational therapy students need to be prepared to work with individuals who have different values, beliefs, and behaviors than those of their own, we conducted a study to take a first look about our own cultural attitudes and self-awareness. Results of the study may be used to influence curriculum or course change.

Study: Is There an Objective Measurement Tool that Can Measure Scar Tissue Density?

Project Adviser: Anita Simons, M.A., OTR, CHT
Students: Amy Benjamin, Christy Freja, Sonya Jagtiani, Jihee Chung

The purpose of this pilot study was to survey the current measurement tools available to evaluate scars and whether or not the Durometer is the most objective tool for clinical use.

Study: Parents' Satisfaction with their Children's Assistive Technology Devices and Services Provided by Adaptive Design Association

Faculty Members: Anita Perr, Clinical Assistant Professor
Students: Diana Alberti, Mary Holahan, Andrea Johnston, Ruth Siebers

Over the phone, 12 parents completed the Quebec User Evaluation of Satisfaction with Assistive Technology, version 2.0 (QUEST) regarding their child's assistive technology device and services provided by the Adaptive Design Association (ADA). The ADA is a non-profit organization aimed at providing practical, affordable, and custom-fabricated equipment for children with disabilities. Results showed that the parents were generally quite satisfied with the individual factors of devices and services offered by ADA. Weight was the highest-rated device factor; therefore, the light-weight cardboard used to construct ADA's devices is obviously a strong design feature. A majority of the participants did not receive follow-up services, pointing to a possible area for improvement in ADA's services. Further research is recommended to better understand the effectiveness of ADA's devices and services.

Study: Handwriting: Relationship Between Accuracy and Wrist Position in First and Second Graders

Faculty Members: Dr. Jim Hinojosa, Professor
Project Adviser: Karen Roston, OTR
Students: Sarah Folland, Allyson Lipton, Patricia Morris, Adina Rogers

Legible handwriting is an essential ingredient for success in school. This study uses the Minnesota Test of Handwriting to determine how wrist position affects the accuracy of handwriting. Fifty-six 1st and 2nd graders from a public school in New York City participated in this research study.

Study: Parental Homework Involvement in Gay and Lesbian Family Structures

Faculty Members: Dr. Jim Hinojosa, Professor
Students: Claire Devine, Megan McCartney, Laura Staton, Tara Whyte

This exploratory study examined the amount of time parents spend helping their children with homework. Specifically, the amount of time spent in homework activities by gay/lesbian and "heteronormal" family structures were of interest.

Study: Impact of the Spacing Effect on Learning and Memory

Faculty Members: Dr. Yael Goverover, Assistant Professor
Students: Jamie Errickson, Lisa Jager, Amy Lichtenstein

This study examined "spacing effect," the phenomena that an individual's learning and memory improves when trials are distributed over time ("spaced presentation") compared to consecutive learning trials ("massed presentation"). The spacing effect was studied in two functional tasks, paragraph learning and map route learning.

Study: Parasuicidal Behaviors as Measured by the Adult Sensory Profile: A Pilot Study

Faculty Members: Dr. Mary Donohue, Clinical Professor
Project Adviser: Fran Babiss, PhD, OTR
Students: Kristine Beacham, Natalie Burkley, Natasha Burt, Tierney Frawley

"Parasuicide" refers to the nonfatal, self-injurious behaviors often exhibited by individuals who meet the DSM-IV criteria for BPD. The focus of this study is that of self-mutilation. The purpose of the study is to find if there is a link between sensory processing and self-mutilation, with the ultimate goal of incorporating sensory integration into treatment.

Study: Attitudes of Students towards Spirituaity in Occupational Therapy Curriculum and Future Practice

Faculty Members: Dr. Mary Donohue, Clinical Professor
Students: Susanna Chan, Katharyn Krokey, Brian Mims, Ellen Quan

Building upon a 2001 study by Collins, Paul and West-Frasier entitled, "Utilization of Spirituality in Occupational Therapy: Beliefs, Practices, and Perceived Barriers," and a study by Taylor, Mitchell, Kenan and Tacker (2000), an interactive survey using the Zoomerang program was carried out examining attitudes of students regarding spirituality in the curriculum at NYU's Department of Occupational Therapy. Perspectives on definitions of spirituality, its place in the domain and practice of occupational therapy, and barriers in addressing spirituality in occupational therapy were studied and can be further researched in the future.

Study: Qualitative Inquiry Regarding Therapists' Perception of Barriers Impeding Returning Veterans' Readjustment to Life Roles

Faculty Members: Dr. Mary Donohue, Clinical Professor
Students: Jennifer Castellano, Joselyn Goldstein, Arlene Labeste

Our qualitative study looked at the services provided to veterans that help with their readjustment to previous life roles, especially the role of worker. We interviewed three therapists (1 Army OT, 2 Readjustment Counselors) who have worked with veterans for at least five years to discuss veterans' experiences upon return, including common emotions felt, vocational problems, and barriers to receiving and/or seeking readjustment services.