Neurorehabilitation and Neuroscience
The Neurorehabilitation and Neuroscience group at the 2012 Occupational Science Summit in St. Louis featured 12 presentations and 8 poster sessions. The research in the group spanned many topics, including traumatic brain injury, stroke, and combat-readiness tests.
“Investigators were able to network and had access to consultation about research design,” says AOTA President Florence Clark, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, chair of the Neurorehabilitation and Neuroscience group. “I think all occupational therapy practitioners should be aware of how exciting the upcoming science is in the profession.”
Timothy Wolf, OTD, MSCI, OTR/L, presented a paper about new stroke rehabilitation approaches that are showing promise in improving recovery. Although task-specific training has helped individuals who have had a stroke improve their mobility and activities of daily living in a rehabilitation setting, research suggests that these improvements do not always continue after the individual returns to his or her home and community. Wolf and colleagues will conduct a randomized control trial to determine whether a cognitive-oriented training strategy helps people with stroke function better in their homes and community than task-specific training.
“Dr. Wolf’s work on examining and developing systematic research in stroke shows how occupational therapy is unique,” says Clark. Cognitive-oriented strategy training is goal-directed and, in preliminary studies, individuals acquired skills quickly that lasted beyond the rehabilitation period and outside of the clinical setting.
The group is continuing to keep in touch and network by building a community of researchers online, which was developed by a researcher in the group, Sook-Lei Liew, MA, OTR/L, who presented a poster at the summit.
Read more about the Occupational Science Summit and find summaries of the research presented in other groups here.