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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Jess Holguin OTD, OTR/L

Jess Holguin OTD, OTR/L

Associate Professor of Clinical Occupational Therapy

Room: CHP 133
(323) 442-5370
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Jess Holguin works extensively with individuals who have experienced head injury, spinal cord injury, stroke, multitrauma, orthodepic conditions and other medically complex conditions. His clinical expertise derives from many years of experience, including his time as senior clinician for neurorehabilitation at St. Jude’s regional brain injury rehabilitation center.

Dr. Holguin has been an invited lecturer on topics such as neurorehabilitation, cognition and visual perception at the University of Southern California and the Braille Institute/Center for the Partially Sighted. As an assistant professor of clinical occupational therapy, Dr. Holguin treats patients at Keck Hospital of USC, serves as mentor to faculty, residents and students, and develops programs targeting enhanced participation in meaningful activities for patients experiencing neurological dysfunction.

As a former member of the USC Well Elderly 2 randomized controlled trial team, Dr. Holguin contributed to the analysis and interpretation of research findings. His research interests include neurological rehabilitation, successful aging and the interrelated nature of well-being and participation in meaningful activity.


Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD)
2011 | University of Southern California

Master of Arts (MA) in Occupational Therapy
2005 | University of Southern California

Bachelor of Science (BS) in Occupational Therapy
1996 | University of Southern California



Conference Presentations/Proceedings

Kuo, G., Cen, S., Zheng, L., Vazquez, A., Margetis, J., Holguin, J., Trummer, K., Emanuel, B., Kim-Tenser, M., & Bulic, S. (2018). Is the slope of optic nerve sheath diameter change in malignant middle cerebral artery stroke associated with mortality outcomes? Neurology, 90(15 Supplement), S40.006. Full text Show abstractHide abstract

Objective. To investigate the association between optic nerve sheath diameter (ONSD) in malignant middle cerebral artery (MCA) strokes, progression to decompressive craniectomy and mortality outcomes.
Background. Malignant middle cerebral artery (MCA) stroke is a life-threatening condition with reported mortality of 80%, due to space-occupying cerebral edema and increased compartmental intracranial pressure (ICP). In current practice, decompressive craniectomy is known to improve mortality and functional outcomes. However, patient selection for surgical intervention can be difficult at times. Use of non-invasive surrogates for ICP could be valuable in managing malignant MCA syndromes. One possibility is through ONSD measurements, which has been shown to correlate to elevated intracranial pressures (ICPs) in studies across adult and pediatric patients. Currently, its utility in MCA syndromes has yet to be defined.
Design/Methods. 136 CT scans (1–6 per subject) from charts of 62 patients in a tertiary academic center were reviewed using previously published methodology. The outcomes of malignant MCA strokes were examined by utilizing mixed effects models to evaluate daily rate of change in optic parameters between deceased and non-deceased groups, craniotomy and non-craniotomy groups.
Results. Daily rate of change in optic parameters were significantly greater in deceased patients than non-deceased patients (0.16 vs −0.001μm/day, p=0.056 for ipsilateral optic nerve sheath (ONS); 0.32 vs −0.001 μm/day, p<0.0001 for contralateral ONS; 0.24 vs −0.0001 μm/day, p=0.0007 for averaged ONS, respectively). Daily rate of change in optic parameters did not differ significantly between craniectomy and non-craniectomy groups (0.036 vs 0.045μm/day, p=0.88 for ipsilateral ONS; 0.02 vs 0.07 μm/day, p=0.34 for contralateral ONS; 0.03 vs 0.06 μm/day, p=0.60 for average ONS, respectively).
Conclusions. A greater rate of change in ONSD is associated with greater mortality. Curiously, the rate of change of ONSD was not significantly affected by surgical intervention, possibly indicating that ONSD is indicative of cerebral edema and not necessarily ICP.


Journal Articles

Carlson, M., Jackson, J., Mandel, D., Blanchard, J., Holguin, J., Lai, M. Y., Marterella, A., Vigen, C., Gleason, S., Lam, C., Azen, S., & Clark, F. (2014). Predictors of retention among African American and Hispanic older adult research participants in the Well Elderly 2 randomized controlled trial. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 33(3), 357-382. Show abstractHide abstract

The purpose of this study was to document predictors of long-term retention among minority participants in the Well Elderly 2 Study, a randomized controlled trial of a lifestyle intervention for community-dwelling older adults. The primary sample included 149 African American and 92 Hispanic men and women aged 60 to 95 years, recruited at senior activity centers and senior residences. Chi-square and logistic regression procedures were undertaken to examine study-based, psychosocial and health-related predictors of retention at 18 months following study entry. For both African Americans and Hispanics, intervention adherence was the strongest predictor. Retention was also related to high active coping and average (vs. high or low) levels of activity participation among African Americans and high social network strength among Hispanics. The results suggest that improved knowledge of the predictors of retention among minority elders can spawn new retention strategies that can be applied at individual, subgroup, and sample-wide levels.