University of Southern California
University of Southern California
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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USC Chan Magazine | Fall 2010

USC Chan Magazine, Fall 2010

McLaughlin Gray Delivers Keynote at Rancho Clinical Practice Forum

Originally published in the Fall 2010 issue of the USC Chan Magazine

USC faculty member Julie McLaughlin Gray, Ph.D., OTR/L, Assistant Professor of Clinical Occupational Therapy, gave the keynote address on evidence-based practice at the 2010 Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center Occupational Therapy Clinical Practice Conference.

According to Dr. McLaughlin Gray, the focus of the talk was to help practitioners “gain familiarity with the concept of evidence-based practice and locate various forms of evidence in online databases and journals.” During her talk, Dr. Gray also stressed how to critically appraise research and implement an evidence-based approach in practice.

After the address, three “breakout sessions” used cases to highlight the use of evidence to achieve best practice in both inpatient and outpatient settings. These sessions covered neurology, stroke and spinal cord injury and were led by Rancho therapists Chris Rhee, M.S., OTR/L, Heidi Dombish, M.S., OTR/L, Suzanne Lai, OTD ’09, M.A.’08, OTR/L, Jenny Park, M.A. ’06, OTR/L, Stephanie Hayes, M.S., OTR/L and Susan Arakaki, OTR/L.

A case study of the current treatment of Guillain-Barré was presented during the neurology breakout session. An inpatient treatment plan was presented and included specialized adaptive devices such as a sip/puff call light, voice command software and computer driving simulation. An impromptu discussion among practitioners after the session addressed the economic feasibility of using such equipment at various facilities in Los Angeles. When asked if Medicare funded these treatments, therapist Chris Rhee conceded that Rancho received additional grant funding. Practitioners then took turns expressing their frustrations with budget cuts and reimbursement limitations impeding best practice. More experienced therapists also suggested reordering the timing of certain interventions during the course of treatment. In turn, this raised questions about balancing clinician experience with external research.

Also attending were Samia Rafeedie, OTD, OTR/L, Assistant Professor of Clinical Occupational Therapy and over a dozen first-year USC Occupational Therapy Master’s students. Student John Margetis found the collaborative discussions engaging, “I was really impressed at how interesting the case study on Guillain-Barré was. The videos clearly showed how occupational therapy enhanced his recovery.”