Research is a cornerstone of education at Dominican University of California. Posters in this collection showcase student research presented at conferences.
Catherine Anne Datu, Nicholas Wing Or, Megan Melody Valentine, and Megan Jeanne Velcich
The purpose of this research study is to identify if there are physiological response patterns associated with self-reported sensory over-responsiveness (SOR) in typical adults. SOR is the most common sensory modulation disorder and negatively affects the daily experiences of those that report SOR. The first phase of the study consisted of phone interviews where participants were screened for any potential characteristics that could affect physiological function. Then, the SRQ and AASP were used in conjunction to identify low and high SOR, typical adults. The last phase utilized the Sensory Challenge Protocol, which is both standardized and randomized, to expose participants to auditory, olfactory and tactile stimuli while collecting electrodermal response (EDR) data. This research has three major findings. First, EDR differences between high and low SOR groups are not significant, however, the high SOR group had generally higher EDR for almost all stimuli. Second, there was a strong correlation for inter- stimuli EDR, informing us that each individual has a general response style to stimuli regardless of their self-report. Lastly, there is no correlation between self-reported SOR and EDR. It is hypothesized that self-reported SOR is shaped by habituation, coping skills and varying life experiences. EDR can help support the experiences of those with high SOR, however it is not sensitive enough for diagnostic/clinical purposes. Additionally, when an individual has sensitivity in one area, there is likely sensitivity in other sensory areas as well but may be masked by coping skills, habituation or modulation.
Naomi Grace Wong, Jacob Joseph Gantan, Ivy Annahi Torres-Flores, and Heather Anne August
Dementia is a neurological disease, causing behavioral and cognitive symptoms, that progressively impairs an individual’s ability to engage in meaningful activities. Progressive deterioration associated with dementia impacts occupational performance and independence and quality of life. Sensory based interventions, such as drumming groups, have been hypothesized to be a non-pharmacological intervention for individuals with dementia. The purpose of this study was to analyze the effects of a sensory based intervention program, in this case participation in a drumming group, on functional engagement during self-feeding for individuals with dementia. Researchers gathered data over the course of two days using the Functional Behavior Profile, Self-Feeding Questionnaire, Visual Analog Scale, and the Agitated Behavior Scale as outcome measures. The first day was a baseline day, during which participants did not participate in the drumming group. Researchers completed observational questionnaires measuring the participant’s agitation and mood prior to lunch, and during lunch. On the second day, the participants engaged in the drumming group. Agitation, mood, and function was observed before and after the drumming group, and during lunch. Mood was elevated and increased engagement was observed during the drumming group. The effect of the drumming group did not carry over into self-feeding. There was a 20 minute wait period in between the drumming group and lunch time, which may have affected the results. Recommendations for future research include the evaluation of arousal and engagement during the drumming group and its effect on occupational performance.
Chelsea Golding, Chantelle Bond, Vhernna Fernandez, and Eizelle Barrientos
Objective: The purpose of this research was to empirically examine the occupational impact of assistive technology - AT (with a specific focus on word prediction, text to speech and speech recognition) from the perspectives of the end user, family and school personnel (e.g. teachers, therapists & specialists) across various contexts (e.g. home, school, community).
Method: Qualitative data included semi-structured interviews, audio and video recordings, and records reviews. The data was coded and analyzed using a constant comparison method to identify themes pertaining to the occupational use of AT and thusly the impact to overall occupational performance.
Findings: Six themes were identified: people, match, features, context, facilitators and barriers. Each theme was central to the implementation of AT and occupational performance. We additionally found that there was a lack of occupational therapy (OT) involvement in the interdisciplinary AT team.
Discussion: AT has a positive impact on occupational performance and quality of life for the end user and family across contexts. Facilitators and barriers to AT were present within each prominent theme. We have proposed a theoretical model encapsulating how AT supports occupational performance. We further assert that there is a role for OT as an active member on the interdisciplinary AT team when considering the occupational impact of AT.
Hannah Gibeson, Kelly Yerby, Molly Smith, and Brittany Yung
Understanding the lived experiences of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) using video modeling (VM) while engaging in Maker activities is an essential part of occupational therapy research. Participants in this study were four individuals with ASD recruited from a project-based studio located in San Rafael, CA, and one staff member. The qualitative portion of this study analyzed the lived experiences and perspectives of the individuals with ASD and their service provider through qualitative semi-structured interview methods. The quantitative portion of this study analyzed the effectiveness of VM for Maker activities during the activity of making a box using a machine called a ShopBotⓇ. Quantitative analysis included staff assistance and client performance during standard instruction and subsequent VM intervention. Researchers found that with the VM intervention, staff assistance decreased and client performance increased. Three themes pertinent to use of the VM for the ASD population emerged; what worked, what could be changed, and where else VM could be used. VM helps individuals with ASD learn Maker activities. VM is clear, consistent, and easy to understand for individuals with ASD. Occupational Therapists can utilize VM as another method to teach individuals with ASD new skills, Maker activities, and occupations.
Coffee is a substance people consume daily, but there are inconclusive and conflicting results from studies about the positive and negative effects of coffee and caffeine. For example, evidence from one study links lower levels of stress with coffee consumption while another study concluded drinking coffee results in sleep disruption. Given this information, there are numerous factors that contribute to why people drink coffee and the effects it has on each individual. The purpose of this study is to see if there are patterns between demographics, coffee consumption, and perceptions to understand how students, staff, and faculty at Dominican University of California perceive coffee and any factors that could contribute to their views.
Marian Perez, Elaine Wong, and Michelle Perryman
Objective: The objective of this research is to determine whether the implementation of sensory activity schedule in a preschool classroom can increase the on-task behaviors of the students.
Methods: Three students were recruited to participate in a quantitative multiple single subject design with qualitative follow-up study. The participants performed sensorimotor activities before circle time and were monitored for frequency of their off-task behavior using a time sampling frequency data collection. Afterwards, the head teacher was interviewed to discuss the experience.
Results: Off-task behavior decreased from baseline on all three children, which supports the efficacy of sensory activity schedule in reducing off-task behavior. Cultural disconnect, classroom dynamics, and scheduling conflict were identified as barriers to successful implementation of sensory activity schedule.
Conclusion: Occupational therapists are encouraged to conduct a needs assessment before starting a research to identify potential barriers. More research is needed to determine the long-term effectiveness of sensory activity schedule in a classroom.
Tracy Ye, Decerie Mendoza, Elena A. Javier, and Martina C. Dualan
Current research on children with Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) lacks inclusion of qualitative outcomes on the child’s daily occupational performance. Standardized measurements are frequently utilized and provide useful information, however, can be less sensitive to change (Berry Kravis et al., 2013) and miss capturing family perspectives and improvements within meaningful occupations. This research incorporates family perspectives via semi-structured interviews to promote an in-depth understanding about FXS and its impact on child and family occupations in addition to standardized assessment scores through in-depth case study analysis. This study used a mixed method research design examining four male participants who were given sertraline in an in-depth case study analysis. Caregivers were interviewed using a semi-structured interview protocol at baseline and at six months post-treatment to discuss their child, occupations, and any potential impacts of sertraline. Baseline and post-testing standardized assessment results were compared to the occupation centered semi-structured interviews. The data was collected from a pre-existing database in a previous study determining the outcome measures of sertraline. Dedoose software was used to code for categories and themes found in the FXS family interviews. Results indicated that standardized assessments have limited sensitivity to fully capture the lived experiences of families with FXS. Standardized assessments test for performance skills that may not necessarily translate to daily occupations as reported by families. While future practitioners should use standardized assessments in their evaluations, they should also include what families report in their daily lives to fully conclude the child’s abilities to participate and engage in their daily occupations
Have a Safe Trip: Ecstasy Exposure, Perceived Risk, and Harm-Reduction Practices Among College Students
Nicole Alexis Ladines
Ecstasy – also known as 3, 4-Methylene dioxymetham-phetamine, or MDMA - has become one of the most notorious “club” drugs (Havere et al., 2011). SAMHSA (2015) reported that 6.8% of the U.S. population over the age of 12 had reported lifetime use of ecstasy. It has become popular as a social activity due to its subjective effects, such as feelings of connectedness, empathy, and heightened sensuality and sexuality (Leslie et al., 2015; Lee et al., 2010). Because of this, ecstasy use is prevalent among musical events such as nightclubs, festivals, and raves (Leslie et al., 2015). Prior studies on ecstasy users’ attitudes of perceived risk show that while some may understand that there are health risks involved, others believe that there is no harm at all in using ecstasy (Martins et al., 2011). The Harm Reduction Drugs Education (HDRE) approach argues that because the illicit usage of drugs cannot necessarily be stopped, the next step in safety would be to reduce or minimize any harm that can occur from using substances through harm-reduction practices (Akram & Galt, 1999). I hypothesize that higher ecstasy exposure will predict a higher sense of risk, which in turn will be a predictor of utilization of harm-reduction practices among ecstasy users.
The sample consisted of over 100 college students located in the San Francisco Bay Area. Participants were recruited through snowball sampling through social media and by classroom invitation. They were given a survey consisting of their Index of Habit Strength, an Ecstasy Use History Questionnaire (Davis, 2016) as well as three questions on Perceived Risk (Martins et al., 2011). The predicted results are that those who attend musical events are more exposed to ecstasy and that those with more exposure associate risk with usage. Results are also expected to demonstrate that one’s perception of risk will indicate engagement in harm-reduction practices, such as drinking water/electrolyte – rich fluids, preloading/postloading, and pill-checking (Davis, 2016). This research will advocate for implementation of harm-reduction practices as well as furthering knowledge on safety in recreational drug use.
Measuring the Outcomes of Therapeutic Listening® in Children With Learning and Developmental Disabilities
Donielle Hair, Phoebe Taasan, Hannah Tashjian, and Julia L. Wilbarger
A practice-based evidence (PBE) approach was used to explore the outcomes of the Therapeutic Listening® technique. PBE examines how effective clinical practice is within the actual clinical context. PBE capitalizes on using customary procedures and measures to establish clinical outcomes. (Horn & Gassaway, 2010; Swisher, 2010).
Therapeutic Listening® (TL®) is a sound-based intervention broadly used by pediatric OTs as a complement to sensory integration interventions for children with sensory processing disorders.
Carol Huang, Jane Song, Peter Behr, and Stephanie Sterner
Spousal loss has been frequently identified as a life stressor that can greatly impede one’s ability to age at home. The purpose of this study is to identify the occupational changes that commonly result after this event and their impacts on one’s ability to age in place. This study utilized a qualitative phenomenological research design. Eight participants were recruited from an educational program for older adults and were interviewed using a semi-structured interview format. Researchers transcribed and coded all interviews to determine emergent themes. Two major categories of themes were found: occupational and intrinsic responses. The areas of occupation that were most commonly identified include: social participation, caregiving, activities of daily living, financial and household management, meal preparation, and leisure. Intrinsic responses were identified as autonomy, intrapersonal transition, and filling in time. Occupational and intrinsic responses occur transactionally and influence each other. Older adults may need to effectively address changes to both of these categories to facilitate successful aging in place after partner loss.
Cohabitation has become part of romantic relationships in the United States; cohabitation has become a normal experience for both men and women. With the rapid increase in cohabitation this raises important concerns about its consequences for the institution of marriage and the lives of individuals involved in this family form, as research indicates that cohabiters hold lower levels of commitment, and cohabiters are more likely to be depressed than marrieds( Brown, S.L 2003). Some studies have been done to find out whether marriages are beneficial to one’s mental health, Pro marriage initiatives and policies like tax breaks for married people have taken a part in this (Perelli-Harris 2017). Although the prevalence and patterns of cohabitation have generally been well documented, we know very little about the outcomes of cohabitation and marriage. This is especially true for middle age adults; despite the increasing significance of cohabitation at younger ages, the cohabitation literature continues to focus on older adults who tend to settle or move in with a partner after a divorce from a previous marriage. The experiences of cohabitation and marriage are not the same at all ages. Some people may view marriage as a union of comfort, something that’s more solid than cohabitation though the meaning and significance of both these relationship is different for each individual (Haas, S. M., & Whitton, S. W. 2015). Cohabitation has become a big part of an everyday American life (Pollard and Harris 2013). There has been an increase in the number of cohabiting households.
Michelle Fong, Araya Moua, Erin DeNola, and Merit Franklin
Falls are a major health concern in the older adult (OA) population. While there is research on falls and their prevention, research on how low fall efficacy (FE) impacts the occupational engagement of the OA population is limited. FE is defined as the confidence a person has in his/her ability to complete a task without falling (Tinetti & Powell, 1993). A qualitative study was conducted using a phenomenological approach to explore the lived experiences of OAs with low FE and the impact on occupational performance. Participants who scored ≤ 6 on the Modified Fall Efficacy Scale (MFES) engaged in a semi-structured interview, that explored the relationship between low FE and participation in occupations. Researchers asked open-ended questions to explore the activities impacted by participants low FE. A constant comparison method was utilized to analyze the interviews. The findings suggested that participants discontinued certain occupations due to a poor fit between the environment and the occupational challenges. However, those who experienced a good fit between the environment and the occupational challenges continued to participate in the activity using environmental modifications when needed. The occupations that had the lowest average scores on the MFES were occupations that mandated a narrow base of support (BOS) and the shifting of one’s weight. Therefore, occupational performance was impacted by the demands of the activity, the functional ability of the person, and environmental modifications.
This study examined college students’ moods during different seasons patterns throughout the year. Previous research has indicated that many individuals feel more lethargic, lonely and moody during the winter months (Rohan & Sigmon, 2000). These mood and behavior patterns clearly depend on specific seasons of the year. However, many studies have produced inconsistent findings and current data on how weather impacts college aged students moods in California (Lucht & Kasper, 1999). There are many inconsistent studies in the United States that indicate whether there is a higher fluctuation in women’s moods during seasonal change than there is with men(Chotai, Smedh, Johansson, Nilsson, Adolfsson, 2003). The current study investigated gender differences in college students and how weather impacts their overall mood in Northern California. It was hypothesized that women have a higher Global Seasonality Score (GSS) than men. It was also hypothesized that college -aged women experience more seasonal fluctuations in mood, socialization, sleep, eating patterns, and weight gain than men do. The current study involved 60 college students from a northern California university. The Seasonal Pattern Assessment Questionnaire (SPAQ; Rosenthal, 1984), a 7-item survey that measures of winter pattern seasonality of mood in the general population along with demographic and weather related questions were used to assess the effects of weather on mood and behavioral patterns. Results are expected to conclude that there is a statistically significant difference in GSS between men and women. Analyses are also expected to indicate that women’s mood, socialization, sleep, eating patterns, and weight fluctuation more than men’s. It can be concluded that there are gender differences in mood fluctuations that result from seasonal change.Furthermore, the analysis reveals a better understanding of how women and men adapt to seasonal change and provide support for further research within this topic. In regards of the results, the research is critical in understanding the correlation on why women’s overall mood fluctuates during different seasons of the year.
Jennifer H. Daine, Adam A. Chan, Jacqueline-Elizabeth Cantrell, and Kimberley Keagan Banuelos
Purpose: In 2016, there were 22.5 million refugees worldwide (UNHCR, 2017). California resettled just over 5,000 of those 85,000 (Igielnik & Krogstad, 2017). Limited research has been conducted in the United States (U.S.) focusing on the refugee experience; furthermore, there is a significant gap in research regarding the impact of the refugee experience on the occupations of refugees as they transition to living in the U.S. Smith (2012) explored the adaptation of cultural weaving among Karen refugees to maintain their previous occupations and the impact of daily weaving on their lives within Western culture; however, the study focused only on work occupations. This study sought to capture the experience of refugees and the impact of their transition on a broad array of occupations. Adding to occupational science literature regarding the occupational impact of the refugee experience, as well as aiding in addressing issues of occupational justice (Townsend, & Wilcock, 2004).
Methods: This research was a qualitative-descriptive, phenomenological study. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews. Questions were guided by Person-Environment-Occupation model (Law, et al., 1996) and Transitions Theory (Blair, 2000), to address personal and cultural values, environments where occupations are performed, and occupational patterns to identify changes in meaningful occupations due to the refugee process. Participants have legal status as refugees, have been in the U.S. between one and five years, resettled in Northern California, are at least 18 years old and were not required to speak English. As this study aimed to capture a broad experience of transition and limit confounding factors influencing how the participant responded to changes in occupations, participants could be of any ethnicity, country of origin, or gender. Two participants were recruited through snowball sampling. Interviews were audio taped and transcribed. Interviews were coded using Thematic Analysis to generate common themes across cases (Braun & Clarke, 2006). Rigor was strengthened through member checks and peer review.
Findings: Through analysis of the interviews, the researchers found five major themes: contextual barriers, internal factors, adaptation, belonging, and transition. The first four themes form a loop and influence each other both positively and negatively and, ultimately, affect engagement in occupations. Transition is the theme that envelops and influences the whole. Using these five themes, the researchers developed the Transition-related Effects on Refugee Occupations (TERO) Model. Key findings include that refugees may experience more meaning and role change/loss in their occupations, rather than adoption of new occupations. Additionally, the researchers found social network to be important for positive occupational engagement throughout country transition.
Implications: As occupational therapists, the tendency towards working with refugee populations may be to focus on their transitions to new occupations. However, data from this study indicates that it may be more pertinent to address role and meaning change/loss in current occupations.
Brooke Czuleger, Emily Garnica, Jessica Phung, and Maciej Rzepka
In the past decade, the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Intellectual Disabilities (ID), has increased. Sensory processing is an area of need for individuals with ASD and ID that requires specialized interventions. In best practices, these services are delivered by an interdisciplinary team, often consisting of an occupational therapist, speech language pathologist, behaviorist and special education teacher. Yet, to date there has been limited research examining interdisciplinary collaboration with the many professionals on the team. The purpose of this study was to empirically examine the interdisciplinary team practices at a special education center in Northern California. This research employed interview methods and qualitative analysis. Results informed a conceptual practice model for collaboration as a highly intentional practice. The model depicts sensory needs of individual students and thusly sensorimotor programming for the classroom as a priority for the interdisciplinary team. Final themes from the analysis as essential to collaboration were: taking action, communicating, addressing barriers, reinforcing team values and understanding interdisciplinary roles. Implications for practice include advocating for the scope of OT, active engagement in the collaborative process at the IEP level, taking leadership roles, creating opportunities for collaboration, engagement in dialogue with administration and formal inservice training.
Age-Related Changes in Visual Processing Speed: A Pilot Study Using the Motor-Free Visual Perception Test- 4 (MVPT-4)
Lauren Gollnick, Kassidy Ha, Stephanie Pawek, Zoe Studer, and Amber Zadravecz
Evidence reveals that visual processing speed decreases with age. The Motor-Free Visual Perception Test- Third Edition (MVPT-3) has an age-normed Response Time Index that measures visual processing speed. In 2015, a new version, Motor-Free Visual Perception Test- Fourth Edition (MVPT-4), was published. The new MVPT-4 does not yet demonstrate its utility in measuring visual processing speed. The purpose of this study was to explore if differences in visual processing speed between younger adults ages 20-35 years and older adults ages 70 years and older could be detected using the new MVPT-4. Results revealed a significant difference between older and younger adults’ time to complete the MVPT-4 (p <.05). This pilot study demonstrated that the MVPT-4 may be able to detect age-related changes in visual processing speed and therefore, a possible clinical tool for occupational therapists.
Evelyn Tang, Blanka Pentek, Laura Greiss Hess, and Katherine Sadoff
Professional collaboration in special education is essential for student success (Barnes & Turner, 2000). However, IDEA legislation does not guide how such collaboration should take place (Pub. L. 108–446). The Conceptual Model for Collaboration (CMC) created by Czuleger and colleagues (2016) described professional collaborative practices of a transdisciplinary team at a special education center. The purpose of this study was to examine the CMC in a broader context.
Madison Marshall, Reinelle Regala, Lucy Gray, Emma Pedlar, and Samantha naguit
The prevalence of illicit substance use among registered nurses, though not widely studied or addressed, is understood to be an essential issue facing healthcare professionals. An impaired nurse is defined as someone who has impaired functioning as a result of substance abuse and it interferes with their professional judgment and ability to deliver safe, high quality care. Registered nurses have access to many high-controlled prescription medications, with little oversight, and the opportunity for substance abuse is significant. In our research, we studied the risk factors, the prevalence, and the preventative measures involved in addressing illicit substance use among nurses.
Discrimination is the act of negatively behaving towards a person or group of people due to the social group these individuals belong to. Although, as a society we like to believe that discrimination does not occur as often as it does, it can take many forms that we can be oblivious to. As a healthcare provider, one is held to a higher standard that many often forget are still human susceptible to the same vices. Discrimination in healthcare is a topic that many are not aware of the prevalence in our healthcare system. It might seem that the societal perceptions of different ethnic groups would not affect the healthcare sector but it does (Yearby, 2010).
The current study examined if unconscious biases had an affect on whether or not certain patients receive full scope treatment. The study proposed that racial discrimination affects the kind of treatment patients receive which leads to alarming health disparities between majority and minority group members. The study aimed to reveal the psychological nature of discrimination and how covert discrimination is the main culprit behind the differences in medical treatments received from healthcare providers. Empathy and personality scales were used to measure whether or not covert discrimination was present in those trying to enter and already working the healthcare field.
Participants were anonymously surveyed and provided their self-identified demographics, were given the student version of Jefferson Empathy Scale, randomly assigned one out of three vignettes about a patient, were asked further questions on how likely the participant would be to treat the patient and the speed in which they would administer pain medication if at all. Then, the participants were asked to rate the patient’s personality through a condensed version of the Big Five Inventory. Lastly, the participants were dismissed with a thank you for participation letter.
A diverse sample of students in healthcare related majors and at a small private liberal arts school and Bay Area healthcare professionals were recruited through social media, email, and an in class presentation for the study. The study was hosted online through SurveyMonkey.com and was open for 60 days.
It was hypothesized that the higher the empathy levels of the healthcare provider, the higher level of care they would administer to a patient. It was also hypothesized that due to subconscious biases that are perpetuated by society, African Americans are more likely to be given less treatment as opposed to Caucasian and Non-Stated race patients or thought to be exaggerating their medical experiences (level of pain) by the healthcare providers (healthcare related majoring students and professionals).
The findings of this study are intended to broaden the awareness of racial discrimination in healthcare and showcase how negative stereotypes of certain ethnic groups affect every aspect of life, including receiving of health care.
Many believe the primary role in life is to settle down and have children. The present study focuses on understanding what can influence a person’s choice to have children. With a wide variety of childhood experiences that exist, as well as the influences of an optimism/pessimism attitude about life, this study will focus on how these characteristics can combine to influence one’s decision to have children.
According to McDonnell (2012), many of those who experienced an unstable or undesirable childhood grow up wanting no children as a way to not repeat the cycle. Meanwhile, some who experienced adversity in childhood seek parenthood as a way to do the opposite of what they experienced, and effort to provide better for their children. What differentiates these responses may have to do with general attitude about the world.
Individuals vary on their optimism-pessimism level. Evidence has been found that show optimism and pessimism to exist on a singular, bi-polar spectrum (Marshall, Wortman, Kusulas, Hervig, & Vickers, 1992); high optimism equates to a low level of pessimism and vice versa.
Studies have also shown that childhood adversities can play a large role when it comes to adulthood dispositional optimism (Korkeila et al, 2004). It is clear, then that childhood experiences, optimism-pessimism, and desire to have children are all somehow interconnected; these relationships suggests the following hypotheses: 1) Adults who had little or no adversity in childhood will desire to have children, independent of their levels of optimism/pessimism; and 2) Adults who did experience childhood adversity only will desire to have children if they are also high in levels of general optimism.
Corinna Louise Venturina Villar
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, occurs when there is long-term force of force of blood against one’s artery walls. When uncontrolled, hypertension may increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. More than 1 in 3 adults live with 1 or more types of cardiovascular disease in the United States alone- with stroke being the fifth leading cause of death. The purpose of my study is to evaluate the environmental influence on hypertension by comparing various factors in cities with high prevalence rates of heart disease to those with lower rates of heart disease. Conducting an environmental scan will serve as the basis of my research, as it will help me assess various neighborhoods based on a set criteria (e.g., accessibility to healthy food places, park access, and neighborhood walkability) that identify potential risk factors for hypertension within each neighborhood. The parks and neighborhoods to be assessed will be determined through a hot spot analysis, which will provide a visual on significant clusters of high and low values of hypertension.
Michelle E. D'Amato, Sophie E. Miller, April Perez, Carmen Joaquin, and Louiza Alexandria Villarina
Approximately 50% of US nursing home residents have a diagnosis of dementia. Abilities Care Approach® was created by occupational therapists (OTs) to promote quality dementia care for residents in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are often the primary caregiver for residents with dementia. To ensure carryover of ACA principles, ACE dementia training was targeted towards CNAs. The purpose of this study was to evaluate Abilities Care Experts®(ACE) training program which provides CNAs with an occupation-based dementia care approach by focusing on the importance of occupational engagement and knowledge of dementia stages. Results indicated that ACE trained CNAs (N=13) had significantly higher levels of self-efficacy, knowledge of dementia care approaches, and perceived knowledge of dementia compared to non ACE trained CNAs (N=16). Findings demonstrate the importance of caregiver training focused on strategies to facilitate occupational engagement at each stage of dementia. OT expertise in providing stage-specific dementia care training can improve caregiving educational outcomes. Further empirical research may help to further understand the optimal use of ACA-focused dementia training programs to improve quality of care.
Allison Hunt, Morganne Peterson, and Emily White
The purpose of this study was to fill the gap in literature and further examine the use of sensory diets in the field of occupational therapy. This study investigated the use of sensory diets among California occupational therapy practitioners. A mixed-methods design was used to collect data through a SurveyMonkey survey. The survey was sent out to members of the Occupational Therapy Association of California (OTAC) and received 98 respondents within one month. Participants worked among various clinical settings and implemented sensory diets with various client populations. Practitioners reported using terms such as “sensory strategies,” “sensory tools,” and “sensory supports” which indicates an overall misunderstanding associated with the term “sensory diet.” An alternative name that is more easily understandable and used universally would help decrease confusion among clinicians and clients. Further research is needed to better understand the effectiveness of sensory diets and how they are implemented.
Shannon Almonia, Kimberly Damian, Giuliana Enea, Solveig Karlsen, and Jessica Markham
Prenatal care is a type of preventative health care for pregnant women that is typically initiated in the first trimester. However, when prenatal care is inadequate, initiated past the first trimester or missed, the mother and fetus experience an increased risk for preterm delivery. Adolescents are apart of a specific subgroup of pregnant women that are at a higher risk for adverse outcomes during pregnancy due to knowledge deficits. Therefore, adolescents are especially likely to receive inadequate prenatal services. Numerous studies have been conducted to discover the result of inadequate prenatal care; however, not as many studies explore the factors associated with late entry or lack of entry into prenatal care for adolescents. These factors need to be identified so care providers can accurately identify pregnant adolescents who are at the greatest risk for receiving inadequate care so that they can attempt to prevent preterm births.