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Research Resources

A monthly newsletter of the

AOTF Institute for the Study of Occupation and Health

September 2008


Dear Colleagues,

Greetings from the AOTF Institute for the Study of Occupation and Health. This issue of Research Resources contains two important spotlights - one on the Society for the Study of Occupation: USA - and a second on the AOTF Institute's own Dissertation Research Grant Program, and specifically two grant recipients who recently completed their dissertations and have been awarded their doctorates.

Future issues of Research Resources will contain more spotlights of both kinds, and we look forward to bringing these to you as we advance occupational therapy through programs of research, education, and leadership, and, in so doing, aim to promote a society in which individuals, regardless of age or ability, may participate in occupations of their choice that give meaning to their lives and foster health and well-being.

Thank you again for subscribing to Research Resources and for encouraging your colleagues to connect to AOTF through this monthly publication and its associated news alerts. Please know that we appreciate your support now and always.



Jeffrey S. Reznick, PhD
Director, AOTF Institute for the Study of Occupation and Health


PS: Don't forget that previous issues of Research Resources are available on our blog and there you can also listen to the proceedings of the 2008 AOTF Institute Research Colloquium.


AOTF Institute Cooperation Spotlight:

Society for the Study of Occupation: USA (SSO:USA)

SSO:USA provides a forum to promote and disseminate research into occupational science. It supports cutting-edge theory and research of occupation through the establishment of networks, resources, and collaborations. Additionally, SSO:USA fosters understanding of the fundamental nature of occupation in health and well-being and studies the interrelationship between the occupational science and occupational therapy. 
History of SSO:USA
The history of the SSO:USA is firmly rooted in the history of occupational therapy itself.  In 1917, a group of scholars met to establish the profession of occupational therapy. Their vision focused on advancing occupation as a therapeutic measure, studying the effects of occupation, and disseminating scientific knowledge of occupation. This vision still serves as the groundwork for the discipline of occupational science. In November 2002, the first US-based research society in occupational science was established with this in mind.

Ruth Zemke Lectureships in Occupational Science
Ruth Zemke, PhD, OTR, professor emerita of the University of Southern California, has been a guiding force for occupational science and the creation of the SSO:USA.  The Ruth Zemke Lectureship in Occupational Science recognizes Dr. Zemke's mentorship and ongoing efforts to foster an occupational science community of researchers. Since 2002, the lectureship is awarded to those researchers that present visionary, theoretical, and critical analyses of occupational science. Clare Hocking, PhD, MHSc, AdvDip (OT), Dip(OT), NZROT, of AUT University, New Zealand will give the Ruth Zemke Lecture at the 2008 conference on The Challenge of Occupation: Describing the Things People Do.  Past lecturers include Graham Rowles, PhD,  Professor and Director of the Graduate Center for Gerontology, University of Kentucky and Charles Christiansen, EdD, OTR, OT(C), FAOTA, now Executive Director of the AOTF.


Seventh Annual Research Conference ~ Occupations Under the Sun: Expand Your Scholarly Horizons
The seventh annual research conference of the SSO:USA will be in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on October 23-25, 2008.  The conference will provide a context for dynamic scholarly exchange and networking on the study of occupation. This year SSO:USA members will actively engage with the Board of Directors in preparation for strategic planning. Proceedings and abstracts from the previous conferences can be found on the SSO:USA website. 


AOTF Institute Program Spotlight

Dissertation Research Grant Program

Since 2006, the AOTF Institute for the Study of Occupation and Health has awarded dissertation research grants to doctoral candidates whose research directly contributes to one of the profession's Research Priorities and Parameters of Practice for Occupational Therapy. Today, the AOTF Institute is pleased to announce that four grant recipients have completed their dissertations and have been awarded their doctorates. This issue of Research Resources spotlights two of these recipients. Our next issue of Research Resources will spotlight Dory Marken, PhD, OT/L, who completed her dissertation at Eastern Kentucky University in 2007 and who is now Associate Professor in their Department of Occupational Therapy, and Kayoko Takahashi, ScD, OTR, who completed her dissertation at Boston University in 2008 and who is now a clinician/researcher at Kitasato University Higashi Hospital and a research associate at the Department of Occupational Therapy, Kitasato University, Tokyo, Japan.

In 2006, the AOTF Institute awarded a Dissertation Research Grant to Eynat Shevil of the University of Illinois at Chicago's Disability Studies Program. The award supported her research on developing and pilot-testing a cognitive intervention program for persons with multiple sclerosis. The program aimed to teach Logo Test 1participants how to self-manage cognitive symptoms by using compensatory strategies. Results showed that participants increased their knowledge of cognitive impairments, significantly increased their self-efficacy over cognitive changes, and reported using strategies in daily activities.

As a community-based study, participants were screened at their homes and the intervention was offered in a variety of community settings to maximize participant's ability to reach intervention sites. Therefore, a significant portion of the grant was allotted to the transportation needs of the participants and research team. In addition, grant funds were used to support recruitment efforts and enabled the acquisition of supplies for the intervention groups. 

Eynat Shevil, PhD, OTR is now a member of the faculty of the Department of Occupational Therapy at the Tel Aviv University in Israel where she is continuing to study the cognitive rehabilitation program for persons with multiple sclerosis in a randomized control trial. A copy of Dr. Shevil's dissertation is now housed in the Wilma L. West Library of the AOTF: Shevil, E (2008) Developing and pilot testing: cognitive intervention program for persons with multiple sclerosis. Chicago, IL: University of Illinois at Chicago.


In 2007, the AOTF Institute awarded a Dissertation Research Grant to Jessica Kramer, also of the University of Illinois at Chicago, towards the completion of her dissertation on a mixed methods approach to building validity evidence with the Child Occupational Self Assessment (COSA). This study included a database of more than 500 children from around the world and a qualitative sample of five children with Logo Test 1cerebral palsy. These studies have provided validity evidence for the COSA and increased knowledge of how children with disabilities talk about competence for everyday activities. In addition, the studies illuminated some "best practice" issues regarding children's self report and the assessment of competence.

The AOTF Dissertation Research Grant enabled Kramer to provide on-site training to about 150 clinicians, offer modest thank-you gifts to clinicians who provided data for her study, reimburse children who participated in the qualitative study, and hire Spanish translators to support aspects of the qualitative study. Additionally, the award helped to support a related mixed-methods study which explored the clinical utility of the COSA. Thus far, Kramer has conducted four focus groups with clinicians in the UK and USA that used the COSA. Kramer hopes to complete the study during the next year and invite the more than 250 clinicians who are part of the COSA collaborator database to complete a survey regarding its clinical utility.

In August of 2008, Jessica Kramer, PhD, OTR/L became a Postdoctoral Fellow at Boston University's Health and Disability Research Institute. Through this position, Dr. Kramer has initiated a five-year research trajectory that will extend her dissertation research in various ways, including three to four manuscripts based on her dissertation, submitting her research to two to three conferences, and provide COSA training to clinicians. Dr. Kramer's dissertation can be found in the Wilma L. West Library of the AOTF. Kramer, JM.  (2008). A mixed methods approach to building validity evidence: The Child Occupational Self Assessment. Chicago, IL: University of Illinois at Chicago.


AOTF Institute Program Reminders

AOTF/Foundation Center Webinar: Sept 18, 2008  3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Introduction to Finding Funders (see below right)

There are still openings.  Contact Helene Ross.

Next deadline: February 1, 2009.   


AOTF Scholarship Program

Application due date: November 7, 2008. 


AOTA/NBCOT Student Conclave

The national student conclave (November 14-16, 2008, suburban Chicago, Illinois) was created by AOTA and NBCOT exclusively for occupational therapy and occupational therapy assistant students giving them an insider's view of the profession; access to, and tips from, some of the nation's top employers; and a jump on career skills.


Publication Announcements


Early Childhood Assessment: Why, What, and How?

This book affirms that assessments of young children's development can make crucial contributions to the improvement of children's well-being, but only if they are well designed, implemented effectively, developed in the context of systematic planning, and are interpreted and used appropriately. Early Childhood Assessment addresses these issues by identifying the important outcomes for children from birth to age 5 and the quality and purposes of different techniques and instruments for developmental assessments.
Snow, C.E. & Van Hemel, S.B. (Eds.).(2008) Early Childhood Assessment: Why, What, and How? Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.


Personal Narratives Provide Valuable Information

In Telling Stories, the authors argue that personal narratives-autobiographies, oral histories, life history interviews, and memoirs-are an important research tool for understanding the relationship between people and their societies. Gathering examples from throughout the world and from premodern as well as contemporary cultures, they draw from labor history and class analysis, feminist sociology, race relations, and anthropology to demonstrate the value of personal narratives for scholars and students alike. Maynes, M.J., Pierce, J.L., & Laslett, B. Telling Stories: The Use of Personal Narratives in the Social Sciences and History. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Health Equity Through the Social Determinants of Health
The social determinants of health have been the focus of a three-year investigation by an eminent group of policy makers, academics, former heads of state and former ministers of health. Together, they comprise the World Health Organization's Commission on the Social Determinants of Health. The Final Report of the Commission to the WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan is now available on the internet. CSDH (2008). Closing the gap in a generation: health equity through action on the social determinants of health. Final Report of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health. Geneva: World Health Organization.


Web-Based & Related Resources

The LONG LIFE Family Study (LLFS)
LLFS is a unique international project that will help us learn why some people live until a very old age and why some families maintain their health far longer than the average family.  By sharing information about your life and family with us, you can help improve the health of future generations. The LONG LIFE Family Study is an international research project sponsored by the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of  Health, Columbia University, University of Pittsburgh, Boston University Medical Center, University of Southern Denmark, Washington University School of Medicine.


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Grant Announcements & Resources

Doug Flutie Jr Foundation Call for Proposals  

The priorities of the foundation are to assist financially disadvantaged families who need assistance in caring for their children with autism spectrum disorder (through nonprofit autism organizations), fund education and advocacy for individuals with autism and support research dedicated to finding the cause and treatment of autism. Proposals must be postmarked by September 26, 2008.

Kellog Health Scholars Program has Post-Doc Openings

The Kellogg Health Scholars Program, a two-year post-doctoral program, is now accepting applications for its 2009-2011 cohort.  The deadline for submitting an application is Wednesday, December 3, 2008 (11:59 p.m. Eastern). 
Through the Kellogg Health Scholars Program, scholars develop as leaders with research expertise to add to our knowledge about the nature of social disparities in health and interventions to reduce those disparities, the capacity to partner with communities in carrying out research and building policy advocacy and the skills to inform and support policy makers who seek to reduce and eliminate health disparities.

The program consists of two tracks and offers fellowships at eight training sites. The Community Track highlights community-based participatory research and relationships between academe, community and public health practice. The Multidisciplinary Track highlights a multidisciplinary approach to studying the social determinants of health disparities. 
Native American Research Centers for Health (NARCH) Program Announces Next Funding Cycle

In its eighth year and sixth funding cycle, the NARCH program funds partnerships between American Indian and Alaska Native Tribes/tribal organizations and research institutions to conduct research that is relevant and responsive to the needs of Tribes.  Deadline for proposals is May 14, 2009 and funding to start in fiscal year 2010.
The notice is going out now to give organizations plenty of time to develop their partnerships and research ideas. To receive updates on this funding opportunity, including planned technical assistance to apply, send your full contact information to
NARCH with the words "technical assistance" in the subject line. 


Conference Announcements 

Government*Horizons Inc. and The National Organization on Disability's (NOD) Emergency Preparedness Initiative Present: Disability and Special Needs Technical Assistance Training Conference: Understanding the Four Phases of Emergency Management
The Disability and Special Needs Technical Assistance Conference (December 9-10, 2008, San Diego, California) will bring together federal, state, and local experts in emergency management to discuss the processes involved in the emergency management spectrum. They will describe how special needs issues should be integrated into the four phases of emergency management: preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery.  


2nd Annual National Institutes of Health (NIH) Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation: Building Research Capacity to Bridge the Gap From Science to Service

This conference on January 28-29, 2009, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland will enable the research community to exchange ideas, explore contemporary topics and identify concepts, methods and strategies to build research and organizational capacity for dissemination and implementation science. Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals for Think Tanks and abstracts for oral presentations/panels, and posters.   

American Association of Behavioral and Social Sciences (AABSS) Twelfth Annual Meeting

The annual meeting of the AABSS (February 5-6, 2009, Las Vegas, Nevada) offers a forum for sharing research, ideas for professional development, and academic concerns in all areas of the behavioral and social sciences.  Paper presentations or workshops proposals due date is October 20, 2008. 


Association for Practical and Professional Ethics
The 18th Annual Meeting (March 5-8, 2009, Cincinnati, Ohio) will facilitate discussion of common concerns in practical and professional ethics. Submissions of proposals for the Annual Meeting must be postmarked by October 20, 2008. 


North American Brain Injury Society NABIS - Sixth Annual Conference on Brain Injury 
This conference will be held in New Orleans Louisiana, October 2-4, 2008. Over 55 of the leading experts from North America will present the latest advances in the science, rehabilitation and treatment of traumatic brain injury. The 2008 conference will focus on four concurrent education tracks covering the following topic areas: Medical-Clinical Best Practices, Research/Science, Life Long Living & Working and Legal Issues in Brain Injury. The Call for Papers submission database will close on September 12, 2008.


Leaders in Rehabilitation: the Rehabilitation of Function, The Function of Rehabilitation
This event will take place in Edmonton, Alberta, March 19 - 20, 2009 and will examine the special and integral role that rehabilitation plays in the healthcare field. Abstract submissions are due September 26, 2008.


Rehab Conference 2008 
To be held in Jacksonville, Florida on March 26 - 29, 2009, this event will focus on promoting research-based strategies that combine applied behavior analysis and biomedical science with person-centered values and systems change to increase quality of life and decrease problem behaviors. The Call for Papers submission database will close on September 12, 2008. 


AOTF/Foundation Center to Co-sponsor Introduction to Finding Funders Webinar

The AOTF Institute for the Study of Occupation and Health will be co-sponsoring a tailored, one-hour Foundation Center webinar for researchers in the occupational therapy community. The webinar will take place on Thursday, September 18, 2008 at 3:30 p.m. EDT. The registration fee is $25.00. This webinar will provide a brief overview of The Foundation Center's reference guides and related resources for researchers, an introduction to one of the key online tools for finding funders, Foundation Directory Online Professional, and a focus on The Foundation Center's cooperating collections which are available in every state nationwide. Through a hands-on demonstration of Foundation Directory Online Professional, participating researchers will learn how to create customized searches to develop lists of grant makers that match specific research interests, geographic areas, and other criteria. Researchers who register for and complete the webinar will receive 24-hour unlimited access to Foundation Directory Online Professional.  To register for this webinar contact Helene Ross, AOTF Institute Program Assistant, by email and include a brief (2-3 sentences) summary of your research focus along with your full name, credentials, associated institution, mailing address, email, and telephone number, and how you will be paying the $25 registration fee. This fee can be paid by submitting your credit card information online via AOTF's secure web site, or by calling Helene (301-652-6611 ext. 2556).  Note: Participation in this webinar is limited to thirty researchers. Registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.


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For more information about the American Occupational Therapy Foundation and its Institute for the Study of Occupation and Health see our web site: www.aotf.org.


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