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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Current PhD Students

Sandy C. Takata OTD, OTR/L

Faculty Mentor: Shawn C. Roll PhD, OTR/L, RMSKS, FAOTA

Research Lab: Musculoskeletal Sonography and Occupational Performance Lab

Year of Entry: 2016

Sandy Takata


Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)
2016 | University of Southern California

Master of Arts (MA) in Occupational Therapy
2015 | University of Southern California

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology
2011 | University of California, Irvine

Research Interests

As a career scientist, I aspire to conduct translational research that informs interventions and strengthens the evidence-base for hand therapy practice. I am interested in exploring novel assessment and intervention methods that promote holistic treatment, as well as facilitate patient adherence and engagement in their own recovery to maximize occupational performance in daily life. My current work involves examining these concepts from both theoretical and applied perspectives. I am conducting a literature review on the concepts of adherence, as well as evaluating a set of qualitative data regarding the experience of patients who received mind-body interventions as part of their hand therapy. In addition to this work, I am actively involved in exploring the use of sonographic imaging as a technique for understanding musculoskeletal pathologies in the upper extremities. Specifically, I am supporting research in the lab that uses imaging to evaluate the impact of occupational performance on changes in the median nerve. As part of this study, we are also conducting a meta-analysis that will identify reference values for the typical size of the median nerve in healthy subjects using musculoskeletal sonography. As I move forward into my own independent work, I hope to apply these concepts (i.e., adherence/engagement, musculoskeletal sonography, occupational performance) in evaluating hand therapy assessment and rehabilitation techniques. My current focus is using these concepts to enhance patient recovery and return to meaningful occupations following tendon injury and repair.



Journal Articles

Takata, S. C., Wade, E. T., & Roll, S. C. (2017). Hand therapy interventions, outcomes, and diagnoses evaluated over the last 10 years: A mapping review linking research to practice. Journal of Hand Therapy. Advance online publication. Show abstractHide abstract

Study Design. Mapping review.
Introduction. Although published literature and evidence to support medical practice is becoming more abundant, it is not known how well available evidence supports the full spectrum of hand therapy practice.
Purpose of the Study. The aim of this mapping review was to identify strengths and/or gaps in the available literature as compared with the hand therapy scope of practice to guide future research.
Methods. A systematic search and screening was conducted to identify evidence published from 2006 to 2015. Descriptive data from 191 studies were extracted, and the diagnoses, interventions, and outcomes used in the literature were compared with the hand therapy scope of practice.
Results. Osteoarthritis, tendon surgeries, and carpal tunnel syndrome were most frequently studied. Exercise, education, and orthotic interventions were most common, each used in more than 100 studies; only 12 studies used activity-based interventions. Primary outcome measures included range of motion, pain/symptoms, strength, and functional status.
Discussion. Abundant high-quality research exists for a portion of the hand therapy scope of practice; however, there is a paucity of evidence for numerous diagnoses and interventions.
Conclusions. More evidence is needed for complex diagnoses and activity-based interventions as well as behavioral and quality-of-care outcomes.
Level of Evidence. Not applicable.


Journal Articles

Hiller, L. T., Takata, S., & Thompson, B. L. (2015). Conditioned place preference successfully established in typically developing children. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 9, 187. Show abstractHide abstract

Affective processing, known to influence attention, motivation, and emotional regulation is poorly understood in young children, especially for those with neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by language impairments. Here we faithfully adapt a well-established animal paradigm used for affective processing, conditioned place preference (CPP) for use in typically developing children between the ages of 30-55 months. Children displayed a CPP, with an average 2.4 fold increase in time spent in the preferred room. Importantly, associative learning as assessed with CPP was not correlated with scores on the Mullen Scales of Early Learning (MSEL), indicating that CPP can be used with children with a wide range of cognitive skills.