Amber Bennett OTD, OTR/L(she/her/hers)
Assistant Professor of Clinical Occupational Therapy
Amber Bennett earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies from San Jose State University, and received both her Master of Arts and Doctorate of Occupational Therapy degrees from the University of Southern California. During her doctoral residency at Keck Hospital of USC, Dr. Bennett focused on advancing occupational therapy as a partner in the continuum of care for patients with heart failure.
Dr. Bennett is a member of the Admissions Team, advising applicants to the Bachelor’s to Master’s in Occupational Therapy program and the Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program. She is a Faculty in Residence with the Office of Residential Education. In addition, she provides services to patients at Keck Hospital of USC in acute, critical care and inpatient rehabilitation settings, and currently teaches “OT 406L: Foundations: Creativity, Craft, and Activity Analysis” in the division’s professional program.
Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD)
2014 | University of Southern California
Master of Arts (MA)
in Occupational Therapy
2013 | University of Southern California
Bachelor of Science (BS)
in Recreation and Leisure Studies
2003 | San Jose State University
Carroll, O., Nxumalo, K., Bennett, A., & Pike, W. (2017). Abstract 245: Demonstrating the effectiveness of an outpatient occupational therapy program for individuals with heart failure [Poster presented at the American Heart Association's quality of care and outcomes research 2017 scientific sessions]. Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, 10(Suppl. 3), A245. Full text Show abstract
Objective. To demonstrate the effectiveness of an outpatient occupational therapy program on improving self-care for individuals with heart failure.
Background. Hospitalizations for heart failure (HF) are the largest Medicare expenditure, and 12% of these admissions are considered preventable. Effective self-management of the debilitating symptoms associated with HF (shortness of breath, fatigue, fluid retention, cognitive decline) helps keep patients out of the hospital. Individuals often experience difficulty incorporating self-care management activities into their daily lives. Occupational therapy (OT) is well suited to address the self-care needs of people with HF by increasing patient self-efficacy and facilitating lifestyle modification through the incorporation of new habits, roles, and routines.
Methods. Participants with HF (n=11, ages 40-86) enrolled in an outpatient OT program focusing on self-care management. Participants received weekly, bi-weekly or monthly one-hour treatments over a six-month period. Sessions addressed the following topics: low sodium diet adherence, medication management, activity tolerance, symptom monitoring and psychosocial coping strategies. The Self-Care of Heart Failure Index (SCHFI) was administered at evaluation and upon completion of the program. The SCHFI is a reliable and valid assessment tool that measures self-care maintenance, management and confidence in people with HF.
Results. All participants who received two or more treatments demonstrated 33.33% (16.67 of 49.99) to 190.01% (63.33 of 33.33) improvement in maintenance of self-care routines based on pre and post SCHFI scores. Additionally, half of these participants demonstrated 28.47% (22.16 of 77.84) to 85.33% (38.4 of 45) improvement in confidence with self-care management based on pre and post SCHFI scores.
Conclusion. Participation in an outpatient OT program that focused on incorporating lifestyle modifications into daily routines was effective at improving self-care for people with HF, specifically maintenance of self-care routines and confidence with ability to self-manage their chronic condition.