Announcing the 2018 LSVT Global Small Student Grant Winners!- Occupational Therapy Awardees

We congratulate the 2018 Occupational Therapy student grant recipients!

Each student received a $1,500 small student grant from LSVT Global, to be used during the 2018-2019 academic year. These unrestricted grants provide funding to help support their treatment research projects.

Download information about our 2019 Student Grant competition for occupational therapy students hereLetters of Intent are due May 17, 2019.  Domestic and International applications are welcome.  Proposals and Application Due: June 28, 2019

Occupational Therapy Awardees

Nataya Branjerdporn

Occupational Therapist, PhD Student

Queensland Cerebral Palsy and Rehabilitation Research Centre

University of Queensland, Australia

 “Driving change for infants at high risk of cerebral palsy in low-resource contexts: An innovative community-based parent-delivered early intervention program.”



Significance: Cerebral palsy is the most prevalent physical disability in children around the world and may lead to less favourable occupational performance. Eight in ten children with cerebral palsy are born into low-resource contexts, such as India, where financial hardship and remoteness contribute to difficulties accessing therapies that enable children to participate in meaningful occupations and experience optimal quality of life. A new approach called the Learning through Everyday Activities with Parents (LEAP-CP) program responds to this need by training local mothers to develop therapeutic skills from an occupational therapy perspective. The local mothers then coach and empower other mothers with an infant detected early as being at risk of cerebral palsy, in the mother’s own home.

Aim: My research, which will be completed as a part of a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) at the Queensland Cerebral Palsy and Rehabilitation Research Centre, University of Queensland, seeks to evaluate the roll out of LEAP-CP across three trial sites in Kolkata, India, to understand the essential ingredients of the Program.

Objectives: I will travel to Kolkata, India to explore what worked, how, in what circumstances, and for whom LEAP-CP was effective. Mothers providing and receiving care will be interviewed and observed to understand their experiences. Knowledge created through this research will directly inform the scale-up and implementation of LEAP-CP in our own backyard and promote the use of an occupational performance lens. In the next phase of the research LEAP-CP will roll out in Indigenous Australian communities in North Queensland. Findings from this research will be translated to clinical practice through meetings with local and global families, conference presentations, and peer-reviewed research publications.

Christine Griffin

Occupational Therapist, PhD Student

School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Ohio State University Medical Center

 “Efficacy of action observation combined with repetitive task practice on upper limb outcomes in chronic stroke.”





Background: 7.2 million Americans have experienced a stroke in the United States, making it one of the leading causes of serious, long term-disability. Action observation (AO) is an intervention that has shown promise in decreasing upper limb (UL) impairment and increasing UL outcomes post stroke. During AO, a functional task is attempted after watching a video depicting a physical performance of the same task.

Repetitive Task Practice (RTP) is the performance of a functional task with the hemiplegic UL, and is completed with intensive repetitions. RTP constitutes the current gold standard of rehabilitative care for increasing UL recovery in chronic stroke survivors, but has not been combined with AO. Additionally, the majority of efficacious interventions for UL recovery post stroke are exclusively designed for the minimally impaired individual, and not moderately impaired stroke survivors, who comprise the majority of this population.

Objective: Determine the efficacy of AO when combined with RTP on UL outcomes in the chronic, moderately impaired stroke survivor

Methods: A within subject design will be utilized with all subjects participating in experimental conditions of AO + RTP, and control condition of Placebo Video + RTP. A single blinded assessor will complete assessments on each subject at three distinct time points of pretest (Pre), posttest 1 (P-1), and posttest 2 (P-2). 15 chronic stroke survivors will be randomized to a protocol sequence, and Pre will be completed. Subjects will complete an intervention 3 times per week for 4 weeks (total of 12 sessions), and during a 5-7 day washout period with no intervention, P-1 will be completed. Participants will then complete the alternative intervention 3 times per week for 4 weeks (total of 12 sessions) and complete P-2 within one week of intervention completion. Duration of each action observation video and placebo video sequence will be 6 minutes, followed by 45 minutes of RTP.

Outcome Measures: The upper extremity section of the Fugl-Meyer Scale (UEFM), the Arm Motor Activity Test (AMAT), and a mixed method single mode survey will be utilized for outcome measures.

Analysis: When controlling for baseline score and order of exposure, a repeated measures regression will be utilized, with UEFM and AMAT as the dependent variables, intervention as the independent variable; the design will include a repeated effect of subject, with a random intercept. The objective is to determine whether

the degree of change on the UEFM and AMAT are significantly different (alpha = 0.05) between Pre v P-1, and P-1 v P-2, for the AO + RTP treatment group v the placebo (video + RTP). Percentages for item responses from the mixed method survey will be reported. Qualitative responses will be utilized to expand and explain survey responses, and to gain further knowledge of subject’s perception of the study regimens.

Expected Outcome: Upon successful completion of the proposed research, we expect our contribution to be that AO and RTP combined will be effective in moderately impaired stroke survivors, the vast majority. This contribution is expected to be significant because a new efficacious intervention can be utilized with millions of stroke survivors to increase patient outcomes and quality of life. Creating an additional intervention of implementing AO + RTP to address UL hemiplegia will increase possibilities in the area of stroke rehabilitation. This intervention is expected to decrease motor impairment and increase UL function while directly impacting the level of disability post stroke.

“The LSVT-global small student grant made my dissertation study possible.  I was thrilled to find the LSVT-global small student grant program.  Working with individuals with Parkinson disease is something that is both personally and professionally meaningful to me, and continuing this line of research early in my career means so much.”

-Laura Grimm, 2017 OT Grant Winner

Thank you so much for the opportunity to apply for this grant! I am so honored and happy that I was chosen!! I am very excited!

 -Holly Johnson, 2018 PT Grant Winner