Samia Rafeedie OTD, OTR/L, BCPR, CBIS (she/her/hers)
Director of Entry-Master's and Entry-Doctorate Programs in Occupational Therapy and Associate Professor of Clinical Occupational Therapy
Samia Rafeedie received her BS in occupational therapy from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. She worked as a staff occupational therapist for several years before pursuing her MA from the University of Southern California. Samia continued to grow her interest in occupational therapy education and occupational science by obtaining a clinical Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree from USC with a focus on pedagogy, active learning, and student-centered learning. Dr. Rafeedie then moved to Maryland, where she became a part-time faculty member at Towson University and managed an 18-bed adult inpatient rehabilitation unit near Washington, D.C.
Dr. Rafeedie is the Director of the Professional Program and teaches first and second year students in the master’s degree program. She continues to practice in the adult physical rehabilitation setting and supports evidence-based practice at Keck Hospital of USC. Her professional interests include instructional methods and design, socialization to the profession, and general issues of professionalism and higher education. Dr. Rafeedie is also co-advisor for the USC Chan Division’s Occupational Therapy and Science Council (OTSC) student organization and serves the Occupational Therapy Association of California in several capacities. She holds Board Certification in Physical Rehabilitation from the American Occupational Therapy Association and is a Certified Brain Injury Specialist by the Academy of Certified Brain Injury Specialists.
Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD)
2006 | University of Southern California
Master of Arts (MA)
in Occupational Therapy
2005 | University of Southern California
Bachelor of Science (BS)
in Allied Health Professions (Occupational Therapy)
2000 | The Ohio State University
Rafeedie, S. H. (2023). Participation and performance are not synonymous: How traditional assessment measures fail the disability community. In E. A. Pyatak & E. S. Lee (Eds.), 50 studies every occupational therapist should know (pp. 313-320). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/med/9780197630402.003.0045 Show abstract
Traditional assessment measurements fail the disability community in that “participation” has unique qualities for people who have different abilities, resources, and needs. Participation includes not only active engagement in life situations at the societal level, but also the personal meaning and satisfaction resulting from that engagement. Participation is a right based on access, opportunity, respect, and inclusion. Participation should include not only the physical aspects of “doing,” but also the choice and control to participate in ways individually perceived as meaningful. The medical and rehabilitation fields need subjective and value-based participation assessment tools that reflect a non-hierarchical conceptualization of participation created with the voice of the disability community, which is contrary to the assumptions of traditional measurement. Researchers must critically examine conventional means of measuring participation via performance of a standard set of roles and activities that do not make sense for all people.
Keywords. disability community, disability perspective, participation, inclusion, social justice, assessment, occupational therapy
Rafeedie, S. H. (2023). Why occupation matters for survivors of traumatic brain injury (TBI). In E. A. Pyatak & E. S. Lee (Eds.), 50 studies every occupational therapist should know (pp. 289-296). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/med/9780197630402.003.0042 Show abstract
This systematic review highlights the effectiveness of activity- and occupation-based interventions utilized with people recovering from traumatic brain injury (TBI), to improve participation in daily activities and social participation. Five themes emerged from the synthesis of 19 studies: the use of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary intervention approaches, community-based rehabilitation programs, client-centered goals and relevant contexts, interventions including social skills training and peer mentoring, and community mobility interventions. There was moderate evidence that multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches, community-based rehabilitation programs, and a focus on client-centered goals delivered in a relevant context by an occupational therapist could improve occupational performance following TBI. Limited evidence was found for the best approach to improving social skills and community mobility. The specific contribution of occupational therapy intervention for this patient population has not been well studied, and additional research is needed to determine the nature and extent of occupational therapy intervention for individual patients.
Keywords. traumatic brain injury, occupation-based practice, comprehensive rehabilitation, interdisciplinary team, community-based rehabilitation, client-centered rehabilitation, occupational therapy
Harris, M. B., Rafeedie, S., McArthur, D., Babikian, T., Snyder, A., Polster, D., & Giza, C. (2019). Addition of occupational therapy to an interdisciplinary concussion clinic improves identification of functional impairments. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, 34(6), 425-432. https://doi.org/10.1097/HTR.0000000000000544 Show abstract
Background. Concussions, or mild traumatic brain injuries, are prevalent among youth and young adults. These injuries may disrupt a person's daily activities (occupations) including school, physical activity, work, and socialization. Rehabilitation professionals, such as occupational therapists (OTs), are experts in providing individualized intervention to address these temporary life changes during recovery.
Objective. This article aims to identify the benefit of having an occupational therapy practitioner on an interdisciplinary treatment team when providing intervention to patients with concussion.
Setting. Concussion clinic at an academic institution.
Participants. Participants ages 12 to 24 years with a reported history of mild traumatic brain injury or concussion were evaluated by a physician, or by a physician and OT, in an initial evaluation appointment.
Design. A single researcher (OT) with training in concussion qualitatively compared reported impacted occupational domains as defined in the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework, using both a retrospective and a prospective cohort. The prospective group differed from the retrospective group in that an OT was present, and participated in the initial evaluation.
Results. The domains of performance patterns (P = .007) and performance skills (P ≤ .001) were identified significantly more often when an occupational therapy practitioner participated in the initial evaluation.
Conclusions. Rehabilitation professionals, such as OTs, play an important role in identifying impacted domains after a concussion, which can help optimize patient care.
Rybski, M. F., Rafeedie, S., & Baumgarten, J. (2019). Kinesiology concepts. In M. Rybski (Ed.), Kinesiology for occupational therapy (3rd ed., pp. 17-35). Thorofare, NJ: Slack Incorporated.
Rafeedie, S., Metzler, C., & Lamb, A. J. (2018). Opportunities for occupational therapy to serve as a catalyst for culture change in nursing facilities. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 72(4), 7204090010p1-7204090010p6. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2018.724003 Show abstract
Ensuring that older adults are receiving quality and effective rehabilitation and skilled nursing services must be a priority to society and to the health care system, but health care policies and systems driving reimbursement continue to challenge the delivery of services. A review of the literature indicates significant problems among residents of skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) that could be alleviated by meaningful occupational therapy. Research and practice in the occupational therapy community should focus on this large area of practice. Advocacy by individual practitioners—challenging themselves and others to provide more patient-centered care—can lead to changes that benefit clients, facilities, and payment systems as well as contribute to career satisfaction of occupational therapy practitioners. Occupational therapy can and should serve as catalyst for culture change in SNFs by providing meaningful interventions and opportunities that support engagement and health.
Rafeedie, S. (2018). Special needs of the older adult. In H. M. Pendleton & W. Schultz-Krohn (Eds.), Pedretti's occupational therapy: Practice skills for physical dysfunction (8th ed., pp. 1142-1165). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier. Full text
Credentialed Leader in Academia | 2018
American Occupational Therapy Association
Vision Award: OTAC’s Centennial Rose Parade Float Committee | 2017
Occupational Therapy Association of California (OTAC)
Board Certification in Physical Rehabilitation (BCPR) | 2015
American Occupational Therapy Association
Service Commendation for AOTA Advisor, Coding Project | 2015
American Occupational Therapy Association
Janice Matsutsuyu Service Award | 2012
Occupational Therapy Association of California
Certified Brain Injury Specialist (CBIS) | 2007
Academy of Brain Injury Certified Specialists
Outstanding Contribution in the Role of Teaching Assistant | 2005
USC Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
September 16, 2020
Four USC Chan faculty members and two alumni will be speaking during the American Occupational Therapy Association’s 2020 Education Summit. The annual event brings together hundreds of faculty members from academic institutions across the country to learn about new trends, innovative classroom…
August 19, 2020
How student-leaders, faculty and staff kept the division connected during USC’s first fully remote semester.
November 6, 2019
By revitalizing a forgotten garden, one USC student learned to grow so much more
April 1, 2019
By Joyce Yoo Velia Lozick at her White Coat Ceremony at the beginning of the program April is Occupational Therapy Month, and part of its celebration includes advocating for our amazing profession. To get some ideas about things that I can do to get involved, I spoke with Velia Lozick MA ’19, a…
October 19, 2017
More than 80 Trojan faculty members, students and alumni are presenting during the 2017 conference of the Occupational Therapy Association of California, including master's degree student Ranier Barrett MA ’18; Student Ambassador Erika Lim MA ’18 spoke with Barrett about her experience…
September 27, 2017
By Mike McNulty Eight Trojans have been named recipients of annual awards presented by the Occupational Therapy Association of California, a non-profit professional society that represents the interests of the more than 15,000 occupational therapy practitioners working in California. Associate Chair…
March 22, 2017
By Mike McNulty More than 12 million Americans live with a brain injury caused by any number of non-hereditary or non-developmental reasons such as disease, oxygen deprivation or tumors. The scope of brain injuries ranges from mild to severe, and symptoms can exhibit as personality changes, trouble…
Assistant clinical professor Samia Rafeedie tells U.S. News why occupational therapy is a best job ⟩
January 20, 2015
When Samia Rafeedie was an undergrad at Ohio State University, she sought out the help of an academic advisor. She knew she wanted to work in health care, but she just didn’t know “where” in health care. Her advisor suggested occupational therapy. Rafeedie remembers thinking: “I don’t want…
October 3, 2014
By Mike McNulty Five USC Trojans received awards and 82 Trojans presented during the 2014 conference of the Occupational Therapy Association of California, October 16-19 in Pasadena. Assistant clinical professor Sarah Bream received the Award of Appreciation, alumna Diane Mayfield received the…
April 23, 2013
128 USC alumni, faculty, and students are scheduled to present at the 2013 Conference of the American Occupational Therapy Association, April 25-28 at the San Diego Convention Center. Presentation formats include a pre-conference institute, workshops, short courses, research and professional posters…
February 27, 2013
"It’s simple,” says assistant professor of clinical occupational therapy Samia Rafeedie, to the Dallas Business Journal. “Motivate (employees) by asking for their opinions. They know their jobs better than you do." Read more at How to inspire your employees to make them more engaged.
May 10, 2012
Division faculty member Samia Rafeedie OTD, OTR/L, assistant professor of clinical occupational therapy, will be featured at the upcoming symposium NeuroTrauma 2012: How to Talk About Brain and Spinal Cord Injury with Patients and Families. Dr. Rafeedie will specifically cover the topic of…
May 1, 2012
Division Associate Dean and current American Occupational Therapy Association President Florence Clark PhD (’82), OTR/L, FAOTA, presided over the 92nd annual AOTA conference, April 26-29, in Indianapolis, Ind. Conference highlights included a rousing Opening Ceremony, Clark's Presidential Address…
October 11, 2011
The Occupational Therapy Association of California's 35th annual Conference begins this Thursday! Click below for the full list of Trojan alumni, faculty, staff and students who will be there presenting, and remember that the USC Alumni and Student Reception is the evening of Friday, October 14. See…