Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation’s Research Mentorship Program Delivers Solution to Proving Occupational Therapy Works

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This week, Dr. Lucy Miller, Dr. Stephen Camarata, and Dr. Sarah Schoen kicked off an innovative one-year Research Mentorship training at STAR Center in Denver, CO with 12 mentees who will conduct their own research projects in their individual clinics with the intent of publication in the next year. This research method will produce data for which the field is desperate for.

SPD Foundation's research mentorship participants gather at STAR Center in Denver, CO to hear Dr. Camarata (right) and Dr. Lucy Miller (far left) lecture.

This innovative research mentorship may be disguised as a step backwards from the gold standard randomized control trial approach because instead it uses the less utilized multiple baseline data method.

This week, Dr. Lucy Miller, Dr. Stephen Camarata, and Dr. Sarah Schoen kicked off a one-year Research Mentorship training at STAR Center in Denver, CO with 12 mentees who will conduct their own research projects in their individual clinics with the intent of publication in the next year. Dr. Camarata states, “The goal of this research training was to bring single subject design research technology to occupational clinical translational practice. My hope is that clinicians will start adding to our knowledge base by collecting data in their individual clinics”.

This innovative research mentorship may be disguised as a step backwards from the gold standard randomized control trial approach because instead it uses the less utilized multiple baseline data method. However, Dr. Lucy Miller explains, “The problem with randomized control trial research is that the data does not show variability. We need to go back to multiple baseline data because it will tell us what is working and what is not working on an individual level”.

In addition to individual patient data, Dr. Miller expects that this research technique will develop data on the effectiveness of specific tools and processes in Occupational Therapy. “I think that we have an opportunity to change the way that Occupational Therapists do research because this is a type of research that anybody can do with support. It only takes 3 children. If we do that and we study the right things in the right way we could lay down an evidence base for which the field is desperate”, says Dr. Miller.

The 12 participants in this special research program came from around the world with a researcher from Turkey and others traveling from California, Arkansas, Idaho, Mississippi, and Louisiana. The Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation will assess the results from this program and seek funding to be able to repeat the program in the future.

About the SPD Foundation:
The SPD Foundation is the world leader in research, education, and awareness for Sensory Processing Disorder, a neurological condition that disrupts the daily lives of more than 4 million Americans. The SPD Foundation provides hope and help to individuals and families living with SPD.

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