Faculty Publication Highlights

The following publications highlight recent publications from our faculty and PhD students.

Johnson, K. & Bagatell, N. (2018). “No, You can’t have it”: Problematizing choice in institutionalized adults with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, Advance online publication.https://doi.org/10.1177/1744629518766121 

This study examines how the choices of institutionalized adults with profound intellectual disabilities during mealtimes are acknowledged by staff.  The Foucauldian principle of problematization provides a lens through which to view how mealtime interventions eventually become embodied restrictive practices. Findings show that staff infantilize and misrepresent residents’ choice-making during meals.

Angell. A.M., Carlson, T., Bagatell, N.,Chen, C., Kramer, J.M., Schwartz, A, Tallon, M.B., & Hammel, J. (2018). Understanding self-determination as a crucial component in promoting the distinct value of occupational therapy in post-secondary transition planning. Journal of Occupational Therapy Schools & Early Intervention. Doi: 10.1080/19411243.201 

This article discusses the reasoning behind having school-based occupational therapists on post-secondary transition teams. Best practice in transition planning is to improve students’ ability and opportunity to exercise self-determination. By highlighting gaps in current self-determination models, the authors underscore the unique ability of occupational therapists to help students as they transition into work and community living.

Womack, J. L., Lilja, M., Dickie, V., & Isaksson, G. (2019). Occupational Therapists’ Interactions With Older Adult Caregivers: Negotiating Priorities and Expertise. OTJR: Occupation, Participation & Health, 39(1), 48–55.https://doi-org.libproxy.lib.unc.edu/10.1177/1539449218799445

Occupational therapy practitioners interact with older adult caregivers in ways that reflect negotiations about who holds expertise and whose priorities are most relevant in care situations. These interactions are influenced by health care contexts that foreground the needs of the care recipient. A deeper understanding of caregiving as an occupation via a transactional perspective may serve to illuminate complex care situations and optimize therapist–caregiver interactions.  

Womack, J.L., Zhang, W. & Gupta, A. (2018).The Orange County CARES (Community Awareness, Respite, Education and Support) Project for caregivers and persons with ADRD. Final Report to the Administration on Community Living: Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative – Specialized Support Services. Grant 90AL0021-01-00. 50 pages.                                         

The Orange County Caregiver Awareness, Respite, Education and Support Project, (OC CARES) was a multi-faceted initiative within a county Department on Aging with the overall goal of realizing a dementia capable county. A team of social workers, occupational therapists, an activity specialist and a data manager carried out the project services as a specialized sub-team within an existing aging services team at the department. The volume of service over three years was robust and at the end of the grant, four team members were retained, leaving a legacy of specially trained personnel to continue dementia-specific services within Orange County, NC.                                           

Haley, K., Womack, J., Harmon, T., McCulloch, K. & Faldowski, R. (2018). Life Activity Choices by People with Aphasia: Repeated interviews and proxy agreement. Aphasiology, Early online DOI10.1080/02687038.2018.1506087

People with aphasia need to be able to their meaningful life activities for rehabilitation purposes, but these can be difficult to identify because of their aphasia. They have diverse activity interests and are reliable informants about their preferences. Because significant others have limited ability to predict these choices, their impressions are inadequate substitutes for direct interviews. Implications are drawn for ways to obtain this information directly from people with aphasia.