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Five Faculty Research Projects Receive Seed Awards

This year, five faculty research initiatives at the School of Health Sciences received the Dean’s Awards for Research and Scholarship.

February 29, 2016

This year, five seed awards were made available to faculty conducting independent research, thanks to generous funding from Dr. Louis Primavera, Dean of the School of Health Sciences (SHS). Application criteria were developed by members of the Research Support and Development Committee, under the leadership of Dr. Frank Gardner and Dr. Meira Orentlicher. The five projects below, intended to improve the quality of education provided in the SHS and to enhance clinical interventions, were selected to receive the competitive Dean’s Awards for Research and Scholarship. The winners were announced on February 22, 2016.

Professor Yocheved Bensinger-Brody and Dr. Ralph Garcia, both from the Physical Therapy (PT) department in Manhattan, are collaborating on a research study titled “The effect of isolated attention training on the motor performance of gait.”In order to enhance physical therapy interventions with children, the study will focus on the effects of visual-perceptual attention training on the gait of children at risk for developmental coordination disorder (DCD) during dual-task activities.

Faculty members from the PT department Dr. Laura Hagan, Dr. Shira Schecter Weiner and Dr. June Kume plan to measure the educational benefit of utilizing a patient-simulation teaching module to enhance the clinical skills and self-efficacy of DPT students. Their study is titled Patient simulation as an effective teaching tool to enhance clinical skills and self-efficacy in doctor of physical therapy students.”

With the goal of further developing the interprofessional curriculum in the SHS, Dr. Jill Horbacewicz, also from the PT department, will investigate the current status of interprofessional collaboration among various health professions in a study entitled, “A description of interprofessional collaborative care: Frequency of interactions, knowledge of roles and responsibilities, and effect of practice setting.”Specifically, she will survey practicing Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine, nurses, occupational therapists, pharmacists, physical therapists, physician assistants, and speech language pathologists to determine the frequency with which all the professions interact on an interprofessional basis to deliver patient centered care, and the combinations of teams and teamwork these professionals experience. She will also measure each profession’s knowledge of the other professions’ roles and responsibilities.

Professor Blanche Leeman, faculty in the Occupational Therapy (OT) Department, will collaborate with SHS librarians Joan Wagner and Laurel Scheinfeldon a research project titled “Motivation of students in the use of 2 different physical pathways for the creation of an adaptive device using 3-D printing technology.” This interdepartmental study focuses on introducing occupational therapy students to 3-D printing and its implications to rehabilitation. A comparative analysis of two printing design processes will be performed to evaluate student motivation, ease of use, value of the experience, and quality and accuracy of the end product.

An interdisciplinary team, including Dr. Shira Schecter Weiner (PT), Dr. Ralph Garcia (PT), Dr. Frank Gardner (Behavioral Science; Associate Dean), Dr. Rivka Molinsky (OT), and Mr. Davide Ferrario (outside consultant) are collaborating on a research study titled Interprofessional investigations of muscle activity and musculoskeletal symptoms among student tablet users.”The purpose of the study is to explore the impact of iPad use on students. Students at the School of Health Sciences currently receive an iPad at the start of the school year, with an expectation that it will enhance their learning experience. However, skills necessary for iPad use, such as using external keyboards or stylus pens, touch typing, or reading off screen impose physical demands on the user that may lead to musculoskeletal symptoms. The team will measure associations between iPad use and variables such as posture, muscle activity and musculoskeletal symptoms in order to understand how these correlate with stress and overall satisfaction with using an iPad for educational purposes.

Congratulations to all the award recipients!