Research

Current Studies

2019-2020.  University of New Hamshire, Department of Occupational Therapy.  Smith, S.L.  The purpose of this project is the development and testing of the Healthy Families Profile, a self-report measure of family health based on the constructs of the Healthy Families Model.

2019-2020.  University of New Hampshire, Department of Occupational Therapy.  Preble, E. & Smith, S.L.   The purpose of this study is to examine changes experienced by caregivers when their child/youth with special needs transitions out of the school system.  This survey is current live in fall 2019 and can be accesssed by clicking here!

2019. University of New Hampshire, Department of Occupational Therapy.  Smith, S.L. & Melanson, A.L.  The purpose of this study was to examine the attributes of everyday occupations that families identified that made them feel most like a family and exemplified who they were as a family. Specifically, we explored the areas of occupation and six attributes of family occupations.  This study was submitted for publication in Summer 2019.  Findings will also be preseted at the 2020 American Occupational Therapy Association's Annual Conference in Boston, MA.

2018-2019.  University of New Hampshire, Department of Occupational Therapy.  Smith, S.L. & DeGrace, B. The purpose of this study was to examine the factors and processes that support strong family health and how families' everyday activities relate to family health for three groups of families:  1) families raising children disabilities including but not limited to: autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, intellectual disabilities, and spina bifida; 2) families raising children with chronic health conditions including but not limited to asthma, cancer, congenital heart disease, cystic fibrosis, and Type I diabetes; and 3) families raising typically developing children.  Findings generated the Healthy Families Model which will be submitted for final publication in early 2020.  Findings will also be preseted at the 2020 American Occupational Therapy Association's Annual Conference in Boston, MA and at the 2019 New Hampshire Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference in Manchester, NH.

2018-2019.  University of New Hampshire, Department of Occupational Therapy.  Smith S.L. &  McQuade, H.C.  The purpose of this study was to examine what factors and processes support strong family health specifically for families raising chidren with autism spectrum disorder.  Ms. Hannah McQuade, OT student, conducted research for this project as her undergraduate honors thesis. and was funded by the UNH Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research. This study was presented at the  2019 American Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA. as well as at the Undergraduate Research Conference, University of New Hampshire, April 2019.

PREVIOUS RELATED STUDIES

2014-2015.  University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, College of Allied Health, Doctoral Research.  Smith, S.L., Ciro, C., Bax, A., Hambrick, A., James, J., Evans, A., & DeGrace, B.  Exploring families’ experiences of health: A preliminary family health model.  Dr. Smith completed a study examining factors and processes supporting robust family health for families with typically developing children.  From this, the research team developed a preliminary family health model which requires further testing to see the extent to which the constructs hold across more diverse and numerous family structures and needs.  This study is published in Psychology, Health, and Medicine.

2014-2015.  Creighton University, School of Pharmacy and Health Professions.  Smith, S.L., Jaso, M., & Petersen, M. Parental perspectives of occupational therapy interventions for their child with autism spectrum disorder.  The purpose of this study was to examine the in-depth parental perceptions of the OT services their child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) received, including the benefits and barriers faced.

2012-2013.  University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, College of Allied Health.  Smith, S.L., Ramey, E., Sisson, S.B., Richardson, S., & DeGrace, B. The family meal model: Influences on family mealtime participation. The purpose of this study was to examine families’ perspectives regarding facilitators and barriers to family mealtime routines given the social and nutritional benefits of the family meal.  This study is in press in the OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health.

2012.  University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, College of Allied Health.  DeGrace, B., Sloop, J., Smith, S., Brock, A.  Families with children with autism: An exploration of family health.  The purpose of this study was to explicate families’ perceptions of the family health construct for families raising a child with autism spectrum disorder. 

PREVIOUS ADDITIONAL STUDIES

2017.  Creighton University, School of Pharmacy and Health Professions.  Watson, M.A, Jewell, V.D., & Smith, S.L.  Journey interrupted: A phenomenological exploration of miscarriage. The purpose of this study was to understand the lived experience of women coping with unexpected pregnancy loss to better understand the influence of miscarriage on relationships, perceptions of motherhood, and the meaning of occupation in the context of grief.  This study is published in the Open Journal of Occupational Therapy You can also listen to a podcast presented by the American Occupational Therapy Association's Rehabilitation and Disability's Special Interest Section here.

2016-2017.  Creighton University, School of Pharmacy and Health Professions.  Villasenor, R., Smith, S.L., & Jewell, V.  Systematic Review of Sound-Based Interventions to Improve Participation in Education. The purpose of this study was to aggregate existing evidence in using SBI and effectiveness on improving school participation among children with sensory processing dysfunction.  This study is published in the Journal of Occupational Therapy in Schools and Early Intervention.

2016-2017.  Creighton University, School of Pharmacy and Health Professions.  Belarmino, J., Smith, S.L., & Jewell, V.D.  Extent of Use and Linkage of the ICF to Frames of Reference and Interventions in Pediatric Occupational Therapy.  The purpose of this study was to obtain preliminary data on pediatric OT’s use of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) in clinical decision making regarding selection of frame(s) of reference, and targeted areas of intervention, and to link these to the ICF domains. This study is accepted for publication in the Annals of International Occupational Therapy.

2016-2017.   Creighton University, School of Pharmacy and Health Professions.   Alcala, F., DeZess, J., Golz, M., & Smith, S.L. Alaska native culture and occupational therapy: Practitioner perspectives.  The primary purpose of this study was to examine Alaskan OT’s perspectives about service provision for Alaska Native individuals.  This study was presented at the 2018 American Occupational Therapy Association's Annual Conference in Salt Lake City, UT.  This research abstract is published in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy.