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Research for the Promotion and Advancement of OT!

 

This page is reserved to attache links to surveys for IRB approved research projects. To submit a request to have your survey linked here, please send an email president@connota.org including the background of the study, IRB approval, and links or surveys for your research. These will be reviewed and those topics that are in align with the promotion and advancement of OT will be accepted. Links to all topics will be posted on the page and shared with ConnOTA members via Facebook. This page is restricted to those with ConnOTA usernames only to access our page. All disclosures must be presented stating any potential risks or harm to participants along with if any compensation is provided to those who participate in the research. Please note that any research that is promoting a product or funded by the proprietor must be disclosed and will most likely not be accepted. Upon the completion of the study, Principle investigators are expected to send a summary of their results to post with their topic to disseminate information related to their topic. 

 

Any reports of abuse of participants will result in disciplinary action upon review if researchers have been noted to been breaking from protocol or placing participants at risk. 

 

Participants who volunteer to participate with a study listed on this page do so knowing it is at their own risk and that ConnOTA does not have any affiliation or sponsorship with the researcher. Please note that sharing your private information is at your own risk and we would strongly encourage you to not share any sensitive information if requested by the researchers such as date of birth, social security numbers or credit card information etc. 

 

2016 Research Projects 

 9.20.16

ekloczko.approval.9.23.15.pdf

Closes 12.11.16

Title of research:    

Evaluating Factors that Determine Occupational Therapy Recommendations in School Based Practice

Investigator and Department:

Primary Investigator:            Rochelle Mendonca, PhD, OTR/L

Department of Rehabilitation Sciences

 

Student Investigator:           Caroline Welch, MS, OTR/L

Department of Rehabilitation Sciences

Why am I being invited to take part in this research?

We invite you to take part in a research study because you are a licensed/registered occupational therapist that has experience in school-based practice within the United States.

What should I know about this research?

  1. Someone will explain this research to you.

  2. Whether or not you take part is up to you.

  3. You can choose not to take part.

  4. You can agree to take part and later change your mind.

  5. Your decision will not be held against you.

  6. You can ask all the questions you want before you decide.

Who can I talk to about this research?

If you have questions, concerns, or complaints, or think the research has hurt you, contact the research team at:

Rochelle Mendonca, PhD, OTR/L

Temple University

Jones Hall, Room 405

1316 W. Ontario Street

Philadelphia, PA 19140

Email: rochelle.mendonca@temple.edu

Phone: 215-707-4879

 

This research has been reviewed and approved by an Institutional Review Board. You may talk to them at (215) 707-3390 or e-mail them at: irb@temple.edu for any of the following:

  1. Your questions, concerns, or complaints are not being answered by the research team.

  2. You cannot reach the research team.

  3. You want to talk to someone besides the research team.

  4. You have questions about your rights as a research subject.

  5. You want to get information or provide input about this research.

Why is this research being done?

The purpose of this study is to evaluate factors that determine occupational therapy recommendations in school-based practice.  Although standardized testing scores, occupational profiles, clinical observations and clinical reasoning skills all contribute to determining eligibility, there continues to be confusion and inconsistencies among school-based professionals as to how to reliably determine the need for occupational therapy services.  Federal and state legislation and “best practice” principles provide guidelines for occupational therapy domain and process within a school setting; however, the question remains as to whether existing legislation and guidelines provide an adequate foundation for consistently determining a student’s need for services within a school setting across the nation.  For the purpose of this study, the “need” for occupational therapy is defined by how therapists determine and/or recommend therapeutic services to students in an educational environment.  In this past, the “need” for services may have been correlated with “qualified” and/or “eligible/eligibility”.

How long will I be in this research?

We expect that you will be in this research for up to 15 minutes.

What happens if I agree to be in this research?

  • As stated previously, the purpose of this study is to evaluate factors that determine occupational therapy recommendations in school-based practice

  • This survey will evaluate how formal and informal testing measures impact school-based practice and the determination for occupational therapy services in schools. 

  • This survey will be completed electronically.  It consists of thirty-five close-ended questions, with occasional options to add more detailed, relevant information.

  • Once the survey is started, it will take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete.

  • You will have opportunities to take breaks throughout the duration of the survey.  Additionally, you may save survey results if they need to resume the questionnaire at a later date/time.  These factors have been incorporated into the study to alleviate any hand and eye fatigue associated with computer use, as well as potential discomfort from sitting in one place for an extended duration of time.

  • You will have the option to participate in a raffle.  A separate opt-in/out form will be included within the survey system.  At the completion of this research project (estimated three months), two iPod s will be raffled out to two separate winners.  The information obtained from the opt-in/out form will only be used for raffle purposes and will not be used for the research

Is there any way being in this research could be bad for me?

You will have opportunities to take breaks throughout the duration of the survey.  Additionally, you may save survey results if they need to resume the questionnaire at a later date/time.  These factors have been incorporated into the study to alleviate any hand and eye fatigue associated with computer use, as well as potential discomfort from sitting in one place for an extended duration of time.

Will being in this research help me in any way?

We cannot promise any benefits to you or others from taking part in this research.

Indirect benefits include increased research pools and applicable evidence in the field of occupational therapy related to school-based practice within the United States.

What happens to the information collected for this research?

To the extent allowed by law, we limit the viewing of your personal information to people who have to review it. We cannot promise complete secrecy. The IRB, Temple University, Temple University Health System, Inc. and its affiliates, and other representatives of these organizations may inspect and copy your information.

Your Protected Health Information will not be used or disclosed for the purpose of this study.  Data collection and analysis will stored on a password protected survey system and data sheet, on a password protected computer.   The only people that have access to the data obtained from the electronic survey will be the investigators of this study. 

You will have the option to participate in a raffle.  A separate opt-in/out form will be included within the survey system.  The information obtained from the opt-in/out form will only be used for raffle purposes and will not be used for the research.  All names and identifying information will be separated from the rest of the survey data when analyzing the information obtained from this study.

Results of this study will be shared in a summary format for the purpose of professional presentations and publications.  No identifying information will be disclosed. You can choose to not participate in the study, as well as the raffle and may withdrawal from the study or skip questions throughout the survey without consequences. 

****************

9.20.16

Abstract of the study

The purpose of this study is to evaluate factors that impact occupational therapy recommendations in school-based practice.  This exploratory study will use a single group methodology to evaluate how practitioners recommend students for occupational therapy services in schools throughout the United States.  The information will be collected by an electronic survey.  Questions will include the types of formal and informal testing measures most commonly used among school-based practitioners and how these measures impact school-based practice and the determination for occupational therapy services in schools.  The questionnaire is designed to be brief and usable. It includes thirty-five questions and should take no longer than 10-15 minutes to complete.   Participants of this study will include licensed occupational therapy practitioners working in school-based practice within the United States.  Participants will be recruited through occupational therapy organizations, such as the American Occupational Therapy Association and corresponding state associations.     Additional social media platforms, such as Facebook and Linked-In, may also be used to increase the study’s sample size across diverse geographical areas.  Results of this study will be outlined and illustrated through tables and graphical descriptions and will be used to obtain a more comprehensive understanding as to how occupational therapists recommend services across states, and whether therapeutic recommendations are more consistent among practitioners working within states with pre-established rubrics versus states with limited practice guidelines. 

 

  1. Protocol Title

Evaluating Factors that Determine Occupational Therapy Recommendations in School Based Practice

 

  1. Investigator

    Primary Investigator:                                                Student Investigator: 

Rochelle Mendonca, PhD, OTR/L                                    Caroline Welch, MS, OTR/L

Department of Rehabilitation Sciences               Department of Rehabilitation Sciences

 

  1. Objectives

 

The purpose of this study is to evaluate factors that impact occupational therapy recommendations in school-based practice.  For the purpose of this study, the “need” for occupational therapy is defined by how therapists determine and/or recommend therapeutic services for students in an educational environment.  In the past, the “need” for services may have been correlated with “qualified” and/or “eligible/eligibility”.  This study will focus on the similarities and differences in how therapists are determining the need for occupational therapy services in a school-based setting throughout the United States.  The goal of this study is to answer the following questions:

 

  • What type of informal and formal testing measures are most commonly used during the evaluation process and how many measures are most commonly used?

  • Which type of testing measures (i.e. formal or informal) carry more weight in determining eligibility (i.e. standardized testing scores, functional performance, clinical judgment, etc.)?

  •  Do state guidelines/rubrics increase the consistency of eligibility determinations among occupational therapy practitioners?

  • Would more specific eligibility guidelines and/or the development of a national rubric for determining eligibility within school-based practice improve consistencies within the occupational therapy profession throughout the United States?

     

This study develops a questionnaire to assess the types of formal and informal testing measures most commonly used among school-based practitioners.  Additionally, the questionnaire will evaluate how these measures impact school-based practice and the determination for occupational therapy services in schools. 

 

  1. Rationale and Significance

 

The scope of occupational therapy within school based practice continues to expand and develop through positive changes in federal and state legislation, best practice guidelines, research and evidence-based practice.  Currently, occupational therapy practitioners play a crucial role in enhancing a student’s ability to successfully participate and engage in meaningful areas of occupation within the school setting (Chandler, 2013).  When providing services within an educational environment, occupational therapists assess the student’s strengths and areas of need within their school setting and provide evidence as to how OT intervention will improve a student’s performance/participation within their educational program (Hanft & Place, 1996).  Occupational therapy intervention and treatment must be evidenced-based and correlated to annual goals and objectives established by the student’s educational team (i.e. general or special education) (Clark & Miller, 1996).   Despite recent federal and state educational reform which strongly emphasizes the need for evidenced-based practice when making clinical recommendations within the school-based setting, significant inconsistencies within the field of occupational therapy and school-based practice exist.

 

Current methods for recommending occupational therapy services within schools are inconsistent across school districts and states.   Inconsistencies in state policies, as well as unclear practice guidelines, leave standards open to interpretation and therapist perception (Chandler, 2013).  “The criteria that a therapist uses for determining whether a child qualifies for services, and to what degree, varies by school system, therapy discipline, and individual clinical judgment” (Silverman & Bourke-Taylor, 2009, 198).  Although federal legislation, state laws and occupational therapy “best practice” guidelines outline specific procedures for initiating and completing occupational therapy referrals, assessments/evaluations and intervention processes, literature related to how occupational therapists are determining the need for services is limited (Carr, 1989).  The question remains as to whether existing legislation and guidelines provide an adequate foundation for consistently determining a student’s need for services within a school setting.  Therefore, the purpose of this study is to evaluate how occupational therapists working in school-based practice determine the need for occupational therapy services.  For the purpose of this study, the “need” for occupational therapy is defined by how therapists determine and/or recommend therapeutic services to students in an educational environment.  In this past, the “need” for services may have been correlated with “qualified” and/or “eligible/eligibility”.  This study will focus on the similarities and differences in how therapists are determining the need for occupational therapy services in a school-based setting throughout the United States. 

 

Results of this study will be used to gain a more comprehensive understanding as to how therapists determine the need for services across states, and whether therapeutic recommendations are more consistent among practitioners working within states with pre-established rubrics (e.g. Florida and Georgia) versus states with limited practice guidelines (e.g. New Jersey and Pennsylvania).  This study has the potential to provide a platform for future research projects in the area of school-based practice, especially related to the consistency in the determination of services within the occupational therapy profession.  Future research endeavors may include, but are not limited to comparison studies with school-based occupational therapists working in different states, as well as countries outside the United States, such as Canada and Australia.  This study may also provide a foundation for the development of a possible “universal” template for school-based practitioners and personnel to assist with more consistent therapy/service recommendations across the nation. 

 

  1. Resources and Setting

    Prior to the initiation of this research project:

  • Primary investigators completed CITI Training. 

  • Minimal Risk Consent Forms and Protocol Forms will be submitted to Temple University’s IRB for approval

The questionnaire used for the purpose of this study will be completed electronically.  Therefore, no direct setting or resources are required for study completion. 

Setting:  Online

  1. Study Design

    1. Recruitment Methods

 

An electronic survey design will be used to obtain sufficient data from a sample of occupational therapists from across the United States.  The questionnaire will be self-administered and completed electronically.  This study will be submitted to Temple University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) for approval prior to the initiation of this project.

 

The goal of this study is to obtain a minimum of one hundred participants.  Potential participants in this study will be provided with an electronic consent form including the purpose and the format of the survey prior to completing the questionnaire.  Invitations to participate, as well as follow up reminders, will be posted on participating state occupational therapy organization websites, as well as the American Occupational Therapy Association, to encourage survey completion. Additional social media platforms, such as Facebook and Linked-In, may also be used to increase the study’s sample size across diverse geographical areas. 

 

Participants will NOT receive any form of payment or reimbursement for participating in this survey.  However, participants that complete the survey will have the option to participate in a raffle.  A separate opt-in/out form will be included within the Qualtrics survey system for subjects to complete.  At the completion of this research project (estimated three months), two iPod s will be raffled out to two winners.  The information obtained from the opt-in/out form will only be used for raffle purposes and will not be used for the research

 

    1. Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria

 

Participants of this study will include licensed occupational therapy practitioners working in school-based practice within the United States.  Participants may have worked in school-based practice in the past and/or are currently working in the field.  Participants may be servicing students on a full-time basis, or as part-time or per-diem employees.  Participants must have obtained a degree in occupational therapy (e.g. Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate).  Occupational therapy practitioners working with students ranging from 3-21 years of age are welcome to participate in this study.

 

    1. Study Timelines

This study will be conducted over a three-month period and will be initiated following IRB approval.   All surveys completed during this time frame will be included and screened for project use.  The electronic survey will take participants approximately 10-15 minutes to complete. 

    1. Study Procedures and Data Analysis

Pilot data was collected through the forty-one question preliminary pilot survey, including open and closed-ended questions, to examine how occupational therapists are determining the need for occupational therapy services, as well as service delivery, frequency and duration of services, in school-based practice within the state of New Jersey.  Feedback from the pilot study was incorporated to create a finalized version of the survey thirty-five, close-ended questions and will be available electronically to occupational therapy practitioners working throughout the United States.  The finalized survey will be created in the Qualtrics system. 

 

The data from the study will primarily be descriptive in nature.  Information will be analyzed through SPSS and excel.  Data will be analyzed to determine occurrence and frequency rates within specific categories.    Results of this study will be outlined and illustrated through tables and graphical descriptions. 

 

    1. Withdrawal of Subjects

A participant’s willingness to participate is at their discretion.  Participants may decide to not take part in the survey or change their mind once they have started.  A participant may leave the survey/study at any time.  

There are no consequences for participants that decide to not participate or decide to withdrawal from the study. 

 

    1. Privacy & Confidentiality

A participant’s Protected Health Information will not be used or disclosed for the purpose of this study.  Data collection and analysis will stored on a password protected survey system and data sheet, on a password protected computer.   The only people that have access to the data obtained from the electronic survey will be the investigators of this study.  

Participants that complete the survey will have the option to participate in a raffle.  A separate opt-in/out form will be included within the Qualtrics survey system for subjects to complete.  The information obtained from the opt-in/out form will only be used for raffle purposes and will not be used for the research.  All names and identifying information will be separated from the rest of the survey data when analyzing the information obtained from this study.

 

Results of this study will be shared in a summary format for the purpose of professional presentations and publications.  No identifying information will be disclosed. Participants can choose to not participate in the study, as well as the raffle and may withdrawal from the study or skip questions throughout the survey without consequences.    

 

  1. Risks to Subjects

Participants will have opportunities to take breaks throughout the duration of the survey.  Additionally, participants may save survey results if they need to resume the questionnaire at a later date/time.  These factors have been incorporated into the study to alleviate any hand and eye fatigue associated with computer use, as well as potential discomfort from sitting in one place for an extended duration of time.

  1. Potential Benefits to Subjects

     

    There is no direct benefit to individual participants of this study. 

     

  2. Informed Consent

 

Investigators of this study will comply with HRP-802 INVESTIGATOR GUIDANCE: Informed Consent.

Prior to initiating the survey, participants of this study will be provided with an informed consent letter.  Participants will not be able to move forward with the study without providing consent.  The informed consent letter will outline the purpose of this research study, the investigators, the benefits and risks of this study, the timeline of the study and how data will be collected, stored and interpreted.  The Minimal Risk Informed Consent letter is attached to this Protocol for Minimal Risk Studies.  Please see the Informed Consent letter for more information. 

  1. Vulnerable Populations

     

Vulnerable populations will not be participating in this study.

 

 

  1. References

 

Carr, S.H. (1989).  Louisiana’s criteria of eligibility for occupational therapy services in the public school system.  The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 43(8), 503-506.

Chandler, B. (2013).  Best practices in accessing and negotiating the system by understanding public education.  In G. Frolek Clark, & B.E. Chandler (Eds.), Best Practices for Occupational Therapy in Schools (pp. 55-67).  Bethesda, MD:  The American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.

Clark, G.F. & Miller, L.E. (1996).  Providing effective occupational therapy services:  Data-based decision making in school-based practice.  American Journal of Occupational therapy, 50 (9), 701-708).

Hanft, B. E., & Place, P. A. (1996). The consulting therapist: A guide for OTs and PTs in schools. San Antonio, TX: Therapy Skill Builders.

Silverman, F., & Bourke-Taylor, H. (2009). Access to occupational therapy in schools:  an international perspective. Journal of Occupational Therapy, Schools, & Early Intervention, 2(3-4), 193-204.

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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