Announcing the 2019 LSVT Global Student Grant Awardees for Occupational Therapy

We congratulate the 2019 Occupational Therapy Student Grant Recipients!

We are extremely pleased to announce the two winners of the $1500 student treatment research grants for occupational therapy: Ryan Walsh, PhD Candidate from Washington University in St. Louis and Maggie Fleita, PhD Candidate from the Washington University School of Medicine. These grants are designed to support and promote treatment research in people with neurological conditions. The grants are non-restrictive, provided the treatment being researched is in a neurological population. Grants are awarded based on an independent peer-review process led by Dr. Geralyn Schulz, PhD, CCC-SLP, LSVT Global’s grant manager.

This year’s winners represent a range of diversity from investigating the impact of client-therapist interactions on patient engagement in Enhanced Medical Rehabilitation for spinal cord injury and the impact of improvisational dance on cognition and daily function in people with Parkinson’s disease.

Read on to learn more about our winners and their projects.

Our 2020 grants program is open now. To learn more, please download our Occupational Therapy Grant Handout 2020.

Occupational Therapy Awardees

Ryan Walsh

PhD Candidate       

Washington University in St. Louis

“Effects of Client-Therapist Interaction on Patient Engagement in Enhanced Medical Rehabilitation for Spinal Cord Injury Inpatient Rehabilitation”

The purpose of this proposed study is to explore the effect of patient-clinician interaction on patient engagement and other rehabilitation outcomes in a behavioral treatment program in spinal cord injury (SCI) rehabilitation. We will test two hypotheses. First, optimal patient-clinician interaction is associated with optimal patient engagement in the behavioral treatment program. Second, patients benefiting from optimal patient-clinician interaction and patient engagement will also benefit from improved functional, psychosocial, and life satisfaction outcomes. We propose to apply the Intentional Relationship Model (IRM) to understand the effect of patient-clinician interaction on patient engagement in a behavioral treatment program called Enhanced Medical Rehabilitation (EMR).

Maggie Fleita

PhD Candidate

Washington University School of Medicine       

“Effects of Improvisational Dance on Cognition and Daily Function Among People with Parkinson’s Disease”

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease that results in cognitive impairment, for which there is a lack of interventions. Improvisational dance (ID) is spontaneously generated movement, similar to how one moves in everyday life. ID requires the integration of several cognitive capacities to execute movements. It challenges, and thus may strengthen, cognitive functions relevant for daily occupational performance. Evidence supports the motor-related benefits of ID for people with PD; however, its effects on non-motor and broader functional outcomes have not been examined. The purpose of this study is to better understand the effects of ID for people with PD. Specifically, it will test the effect of IMPROVment®, an ID method designed for people with PD, on cognition and daily function.

“The LSVT-global small student grant made my dissertation study possible. 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 Student Grant Recipient