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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Leah Stein Duker PhD, OTR/L

Leah Stein Duker PhD, OTR/L

Assistant Professor of Research

Room: CHP 222U
(323) 442-0371
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Biography

Leah Duker completed her undergraduate education at Emory University where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology. She received her MA in Occupational Therapy degree from the University of Southern California with a focus on pediatrics including school-based practice and sensory integration interventions. She worked in the field of pediatrics (primarily school-based and sensory integration) before coming back to the USC to complete her PhD in Occupational Science to examine, with her advisor Dr. Sharon Cermak, the impact of the sensory environment on children with autism spectrum disorders receiving oral care. She remained at USC for her postdoctoral fellowship in Training in Rehabilitation Efficacy and Effectiveness Trials, a NIH-funded T32 Postdoctoral Training Program at the USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Therapy (5T32HD064578-03; co-PIs Florence Clark, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA and James Gordon, EdD, PT, FAPTA).

Dr. Duker is currently funded by a NIH NICHD/NINDS Rehabilitation Research Career Development program K12 grant and an American Occupational Therapy Foundation intervention research grant. Dr. Duker is also a co-investigator on a National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research grant (DE024978-01, PI Sharon Cermak, EdD, OTR/L, FAOTA) to explore the efficacy of adapting the sensory environment of the dental office in order to decrease behavioral and physiological distress in children with autism spectrum disorders.

Research Interests

Dr. Duker’s research is focused on designing and studying the efficacy of tailored environmental modifications to alleviate behavioral stress, physiological distress and pain in children undergoing difficult healthcare procedures and in their caregivers. Her research interests include autism, pediatric oncology, sensory processing, Multisensory Environments and both traditional wired and innovative wireless techniques for measuring psychophysiological stress and anxiety.

Education

T32 Postdoctoral Fellowship in Training in Rehabilitation Efficacy and Effectiveness Trials
2015 | University of Southern California

Certificate in Clinical, Biomedical, and Translational Investigations
2014 | University of Southern California

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Occupational Science
2013 | University of Southern California

Master of Arts (MA) in Occupational Therapy
2006 | University of Southern California

Bachelor of Science (BS) in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology
2004 | Emory University

Publications

2019

Journal Articles

Stein Duker, L. I., Kim, H. K., Pomponio, A., Mosqueda, L., & Pfeiffer, B. (2019). Examining primary care health encounters for adults with autism spectrum disorder. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 73(5), 7305185030p1-7305185030p11. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2019.037226 Show abstract

Stein Duker, L. I., & Sleight, A. G. (2019). Occupational therapy practice in oncology care: Results from a survey. Nursing & Health Sciences, 21(2), 164-170. https://doi.org/10.1111/nhs.12576 Show abstract

Como, D. H., Stein Duker, L. I., Polido, J. C., & Cermak, S. A. (2019). The persistence of oral health disparities for African American children: A scoping review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(5), 710. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16050710 Show abstract

Stein Duker, L. I., Floríndez, L. I., Como, D. H., Tran, C. F., Henwood, B. F., Polido, J. C., & Cermak, S. A. (2019). Strategies for success: A qualitative study of caregiver and dentist approaches to improving oral care for children with autism. Pediatric Dentistry, 41(1), 4E-12E. Show abstract

Other Articles

Bodison, S. C., Stein Duker, L. I., Cermak, S. A., & Blanche, E. I. (2019, May). An examination of sensory-related terminology across disciplines: Part one. SIS Quarterly Practice Connections, 4(2), 5-7.

2018

Other Articles

Hong, E. Y., Cermak, S. A., & Stein Duker, L. I. (2018). Occupational therapists’ role in creating a sensory friendly waiting room to enhance healthcare experiences. AOTA Sensory Integration Special Interest Section, 3, 11–13.

2017

Journal Articles

Stein Duker, L. I., Henwood, B. F., Bluthenthal, R. N., Juhlin, E., Polido, J. C., & Cermak, S. A. (2017). Parents’ perceptions of dental care challenges in male children with autism spectrum disorder: An initial qualitative exploration. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 39, 63-72. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rasd.2017.03.002 Show abstract

2016

Book Chapters

Pfeiffer, B., & Stein Duker, L. I. (2016). The impact of the sensory environment on patient care for individuals with autism spectrum disorders. In E. Giarelli & K. M. Fisher (Eds.), Integrated health care for people with autism spectrum disorder: Interdisciplinary planning and delivery of care (pp. 69-92). Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.

Journal Articles

Sleight, A. G., & Stein Duker, L. I. (2016). Toward a broader role for occupational therapy in supportive oncology care. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 70(4), 7004360030p1-8. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2016.018101 Show abstract

Conference Presentations/Proceedings

Chaspari, T., Tsiartas, A., Stein Duker, L. I., Cermak, S. A., & Narayanan, S. S. (2016). EDA-gram: Designing electrodermal activity fingerprints for visualization and feature extraction. In Proceedings of the 2016 38th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC) (pp. 403-406). https://doi.org/10.1109/EMBC.2016.7590725 Show abstract

2015

Journal Articles

Cermak, S. A., Stein Duker, L. I., Williams, M. E., Dawson, M. E., Lane, C. J., & Polido, J. C. (2015). Sensory adapted dental environments to enhance oral care for children with autism spectrum disorders: A randomized controlled pilot study. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 45(9), 2876-2888. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-015-2450-5 Show abstract

Cermak, S. A., Stein Duker, L. I., Williams, M. E., Lane, C. J., Dawson, M. E., Borreson, A. E., & Polido, J. C. (2015). Feasibility of a sensory-adapted dental environment for children with autism. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 69(3), 6903220020p1-6903220020p10. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2015.013714 Show abstract

Chaspari, T., Tsiartas, A., Stein, L. I., Cermak, S. A., & Narayanan, S. S. (2015). Sparse representation of electrodermal activity with knowledge-driven dictionaries. IEEE Transactions on Bio-Medical Engineering, 62(3), 960-971. https://doi.org/10.1109/TBME.2014.2376960 Show abstract

2014

Journal Articles

Stein, L. I., Lane, C. J., Williams, M. E., Dawson, M. E., Polido, J. C., & Cermak, S. A. (2014). Physiological and behavioral stress and anxiety in children with autism spectrum disorders during routine oral care. BioMed Research International, 2014(Article ID 694876), 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/694876 Show abstract

2013

Journal Articles

Peterson, E., Stein, L., & Cermak, S. A. (2013). Helping children with autism spectrum disorders participate in oral care. Sensory Integration Special Interest Section Quarterly, 36(3), 1-4. Full text

Stein, L. I., Polido, J. C., & Cermak, S. A. (2013). Oral care and sensory over-responsivity in children with autism spectrum disorders. Pediatric Dentistry, 35(3), 230-235. Full text Show abstract

2012

Journal Articles

Stein, L. I., Polido, J. C., Najera, S. O., & Cermak, S. A. (2012). Oral care experiences and challenges in children with autism spectrum disorders. Pediatric Dentistry, 34(5), 387-391. Full text Show abstract

Stein, L. I., Polido, J. C., & Cermak, S. A. (2012). Oral care and sensory concerns in autism [Brief report]. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66(5), e73-e76. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2012.004085 Show abstract

2011

Journal Articles

Stein, L. I., Foran, A. C., & Cermak, S. A. (2011). Occupational patterns of parents of children with autism spectrum disorders: Revisiting Matuska and Christiansen’s Model of Lifestyle Balance. Journal of Occupational Science, 18(2), 115-130. https://doi.org/10.1080/14427591.2011.575762 Show abstract

Stein, L. I., Polido, J. C., Mailloux, Z., Coleman, G. G., & Cermak, S. A. (2011). Oral care and sensory sensitivities in children with autism spectrum disorders. Special Care in Dentistry, 31(3), 102-110. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1754-4505.2011.00187.x Show abstract