MOT students present research on driving safety

MOT students 2014
From left to right: Kiah Brown, Stephanie Hernandez, and Megan Shanahan

Kiah Brown, Stephanie Hernandez, and Megan Shanahan became part of the Institute for Mobility, Activity and Participation (I-MAP) as part of the Health Science Honors Program at the University of Florida, where they each completed an honors thesis. All three students are in the Masters of Occupational Therapy program at the University of Florida and will graduate in December 2014. At the end of the last paragraph see links to the research and publications described below.

Each student worked with Dr. Sherrilene Classen, Dr. Sandra Winter and Miriam Monahan researching different aspects of driving safety. Kiah Brown worked on a study investigating indicators of simulated driving skills in adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Stephanie Hernandez worked on a similar study looking at the indicators of stimulated driving skills in adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Megan Shanahan was part of the Fitness-to-Drive Screening Measure (FTDS) project, making revisions to the measure from focus group feedback. The FTDS is a web-based tool for caregivers and/or family members of older drivers and occupational therapy practitioners to identify at-risk older drivers.

All three students presented their research posters at UF’s 2013 PHHP Research Day. Their posters were also accepted for presentation at the Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists (ADED) national conference in August of 2013. Stephanie Hernandez and Kiah Brown’s honors theses were published in the Open Journal of Occupational Therapy in August 2013 and January 2014, respectively. Collaboration between Stephanie Hernandez and Kiah Brown in partnership with Dr. Classen and Miriam Monahan produced a publication of the parent study in the Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy in September 2013. Megan Shanahan’s thesis is currently on its second round of revisions for potential publication.