Julia Lisle OTD, OTR/L (she/her)
Assistant Professor of Clinical Occupational Therapy
Dr. Julia Lisle received her Bachelor of Science in Special Education and Rehabilitation from the University of Arizona, and both her Master of Arts and Doctorate of Occupational Therapy degrees from the University of Southern California. Dr. Lisle completed her doctoral residency with the USC Chan Autism Initiative, where she engaged in research, community consultations with local museums, and implementation of the PCORI funded TRUST project. She also has experience using hippotherapy as a treatment tool in pediatrics. Her research interests include sensory processing, autism, and early intervention. Within the Chan division, Dr. Lisle primarily works in the Innovations in Neurodevelopmental Sensory Processing Research (insp!re) laboratory.
Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD)
2022 | University of Southern California
Master of Arts (MA)
in Occupational Therapy
2021 | University of Southern California
Bachelor of Science (BS)
in Special Education and Rehabilitation
2019 | University of Arizona
Lisle, J. (2023). Incorporating hippotherapy in the treatment of pediatric populations. OT Practice, 28(8), 35-36.
Lisle, J., Buma, K., Smith, J., Richter, M., Satpute, P., & Pineda, R. (2022). Maternal perceptions about sensory interventions in the neonatal intensive care unit: An exploratory qualitative study. Frontiers in Pediatrics, 10, 884329. https://doi.org/10.3389/fped.2022.884329 Show abstract
Background. Mothers play an important role in providing positive sensory experiences to their infants during NICU hospitalization. However, little is known regarding maternal perceptions about sensory-based interventions in the NICU. Further, understanding maternal perceptions was an important part of the process during development of the Supporting and Enhancing NICU Sensory Experiences (SENSE) program.
Methods. Twenty mothers of very preterm infants were interviewed after NICU discharge and asked open-ended questions about sensory-based interventions they performed in the NICU and probed about their perceptions related to the development of a sensory-based guideline and the use of volunteers to provide sensory-based interventions when unable to be present in the NICU. Interviews were transcribed and uploaded into NVivoV.12 for content analysis.
Results. Mothers reported that kangaroo care was a common sensory intervention they performed in the NICU. Of the 18 mothers who commented on the development of a sensory-based guideline, 17 (94%) said they would be accepting of one. Among 19 mothers, 18 (95%) supported volunteers conducting sensory-based interventions in their absence. Identified themes included: 1) Perceptions about development of a sensory-based guideline, 2) Perceptions of interactions with healthcare providers, 3) Maternal participation in sensory interventions, 4) Maternal experience, and 5) Emotions from mothers.
Conclusion. Maternal perceptions regarding the development of a sensory-based guideline were favorable, and the SENSE program has since been finalized after incorporating important insights learned from stakeholders in this study. Mothers' perceptions were tied to their NICU experiences, which elicited strong emotions. These findings highlight important considerations when developing family-centered interventions.
Keywords. development, sensory, therapy, NICU (neonatal intensive care unit), qualitative study
Pineda, R. G., Lisle, J., Ferrara, L., Knudsen, K., Kumar, R., & Fernandez-Fernandez, A. (2021). Neonatal therapy staffing in the United States and relationships to NICU type and location, level of acuity, and population factors. American Journal of Perinatology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1055/a-1678-0002 Show abstract
Objectives. To 1) estimate the total pool of neonatal therapists and the average number represented in each US-based NICU, and 2) investigate the relationships between the number and type of neonatal therapy team members to NICU/hospital, population, and therapy factors.
Study Design. This study used several methods of data collection (surveys, phone calls, website searches) that were combined to establish a comprehensive list of factors across each NICU in the US.
Results. We estimate 2333 neonatal therapy FTEs, with 4232 neonatal therapists covering those FTEs in the US. Among 564 NICUs, 432 (76%) had a dedicated therapy team, 103 (18%) had PRN therapy coverage only, and 35 (6%) had no neonatal therapy team. Having a dedicated therapy team was more likely in level IV (n=112; 97%) and III (n=269; 83%) NICUs compared to level II NICUs (n=51; 42%) (p<0.001). Having a dedicated therapy team was related to having more NICU beds (p<0.001), being part of a free-standing children’s hospital or children’s hospital within a hospital (p<0.001), and being part of an academic medical center or community hospital (p<0.001). Having a dedicated therapy team was more common in the Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, and West (p=0.001), but was not related to the proportion of the community living in poverty or belonging to racial/ethnic minorities (p>0.05). There was an average of 17 beds per neonatal therapy FTE, a good marker of therapy coverage based on NICU size. Three-hundred US-based NICUs (22%) had at least one Certified Neonatal Therapist (CNT) in early 2020, with CNT presence being more likely in higher acuity NICUs (59% of Level IV NICUs had at least one CNT).
Conclusions. Understanding the composition of neonatal therapy teams at different hospitals across the US can drive change to expand neonatal therapy aimed at optimizing outcomes of high-risk families.
February 3, 2023
Aims of projects include increasing social connections in mental health clubhouses, improving return-to-work, developing trauma-informed framework for minoritized families of autistic girls and better understanding autistic sensory strengths