Occupational Therapy Research

Therapists from the Occupational Therapy Department at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia are regular contributors to clinical publications and presenters at regional and national meetings. Here, we highlight some of their recent publications and presentations.

Published research


Duff SV, Aaron D, Gogola G, Valero-Cuevas FJ. Innovative evaluation of dexterity in pediatrics. J Hand Ther. 2015;28(2):144-9.

Duff SV, DeMatteo C. Clinical assessment of the infant and young child following perinatal brachial plexus injury. J Hand Ther. 2015;28(2):126-33.

Duff SV, He J, Nelsen MA, Lane CJ, Rowe VT, Wolf SL, Dromerick AW, Winstein CJ. Inter-rater reliability of the Wolf Motor Function Test-Functional Ability Scale: Why it Matters. Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2015;29(5):436-43.

Eversole, M., Collins, D.M., Karmarkar, A., Colton, L., Quinn, J.P., Karsbaek, R., Johnson, R.J., Callier, N.P, and Hilton, C.L. (2015). Leisure activity enjoyment of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 1-11. DOI: 10.1007/s1080-015-2529-z.


Kalsi-Ryan S, Beaton D, Curt A, Duff S, Jiang D, Popovic MR, Rudhe C, Fehlings MG, Verrier MC. (2014). Defining the role of sensation, strength, and prehension for upper limb function in cervical spinal cord injury. Neurorehabil Neural Repair 28(1): 66-74


Burns, J., Menezes, M., Finkel, R. S., Estilow, T., Moroni, I., Pagliano, E., & Shy, M. E. (2013). Transitioning outcome measures: relationship between the CMTPedS and CMTNSv2 in children, adolescents, and young adults with Charcot‐Marie‐Tooth disease. Journal of the Peripheral Nervous System, 18(2), 177-180.


Burns, J., Ouvrier, R., Estilow, T. , Shy, R., Laurá, M., Eichinger, K., ... & Finkel, R. S. (2012). Symmetry of foot alignment and ankle flexibility in paediatric Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease. Clinical Biomechanics, 27(7), 744-747.

Burns, J., Ouvrier, R., Estilow, T., Shy, R., Laurá, M., Pallant, J. F., ... & Finkel, R. S. (2012). Validation of the Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease pediatric scale as an outcome measure of disability. Annals of neurology, 71(5), 642-652.

Estilow, T., Kozin, S. H., Glanzman, A. M., Burns, J., & Finkel, R. S. (2012). Flexor digitorum superficialis opposition tendon transfer improves hand function in children with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease: Case series. Neuromuscular Disorders, 22(12), 1090-1095.

Kalsi-Ryan S, Beaton D, Curt A, Duff S, Popovic M, Rudhe C, Fehlings M, Verrier M. (2012). The Graded Redefined Assessment of Strength Sensibility and Prehension (GRASSP) – Reliability and Validity. J Neurotrauma, 29(5): 905-14.


Pfeiffer, B., Keonig, K., Kinnealy, M., Sheppard, M., & Henderson, L. (2011). Effectiveness of sensory integration interventions in children with autism spectrum disorders: A pilot study. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 65(1), 76-85.

Publications in books


Duff SV, Shumway-Cook A, Woollacott MH. (2016). Clinical management of reach, grasp and manipulation disorders. In Shumway-Cook A, Woollacott MH (Eds.), Motor Control: Theory and Practical Applications, 5th Ed. Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Ashworth, S, Estilow, T., Humpl, D. Occupational Therapy Evaluation and Treatment in Kozin, S, Abzug, J, Zlotolow, D, Editors. The Pediatric Upper Extremity. New York: Springer Reference; 2015. pp.171-195.

Duff SV. (2015). Functional development. In Abzug JM, Kozin SH, Zlotolow DA. (Eds.). The Pediatric Upper Extremity. Springer Pub. Pp. 25-36.


Ashworth, S., Estilow, T. & Humpl, D. (2014). Occupational Therapy Evaluation and Treatment. In The Pediatric Upper Extremity (pp. 1-32). Springer New York.


Duff SV, Levy T. (2012). Anatomy and Biomechanics of the Upper Extremity. ASHT Test Prep for the CHT Exam. American Society of Hand Therapists. Chicago, Ill.

Humpl, D. Chapter Editor Pediatric Upper Extremity In Test Prep for the CHT Exam- 3rd Edition, 2012


Ciocco, R., Cooperman, M, and Humpl, D. Pediatric Upper Extremity Anomalies, Spina Bifida, and Cerebral Palsy. In: The Practitioner’s Guide to Clinical Occupational Therapy 2nd Edition. 2011.

Duff SV. (2011). Prehension. In Cech D, Martin S. (Eds.), Functional Movement Development Across the Life Span, 3rd ed. Philadelphia: WB Saunders.

Duff, S. & Estilow, T. (2011). Therapist’s management of peripheral nerve injury. Rehabilitation of the hand and upper extremity. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier, Mosby, 619-633.

Duff, S., Estilow, T. Peripheral Nerve Injuries. In: Skirven TM, Osterman AL, Fedorcyzk JM, Amadio PC, editors. Rehabilitation of the Hand and Upper Extremity 6th ed. Philadelphia: Elsevier Mosby; 2011.

Duff, S., Humpl, D. Tendon Transfers. In: Skirven TM, Osterman AL, Fedorcyzk JM, Amadio PC, editors. Rehabilitation of the Hand and Upper Extremity 6th ed. Philadelphia: Elsevier Mosby; 2011.

Professional presentations


Estilow, Tim presented at the United States CMT Association Webinar. Philadelphia, PA “Hand surgery to restore thumb mobility and enhance function in children with CMT (March 2015)

Morris, Evan presented at Muscular Dystrophy Association Annual Family Conference. Maintaining Independence with Activities of Daily Living (2015)


Burrell, C., Cassidy, S., and Levin, A. presented at the Pediatric Feeding: Beyond the Basics with the Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Center. Philadelphia, PA “Practical Feeding Tidbits: Medically Based and Family Friendly” (April 5, 2014)

Duff SV. Invited talks and workshops: 1) Exploiting neuroplasticity to foster prehensile skill; 2) Strengthening the efficacy of neurorehabilitation intervention; and 3) Methods to augment prehensile skill for congenital & acquired hemiplegia. Wisconsin Hand Experience Conference. Milwaukee, WI. May 2014.

Duff SV, Thielman G, Westlake KP. Invited workshop. The Neurologic Upper Extremity: Neural Plasticity & Implications for Hand Rehab. Philadelphia Hand Symposium, Philadelphia, PA. March 2014.

Elhassan B, Kozin SH, Duff SV, de Pawlikowski W, Clarke HM. IC 115 Pediatric Brachial Plexus: Managing The Shoulder. Invited session – AAHS Annual Conference. Honolulu, HI. Jan. 2014.

Hentz V, Lee SK, Wolfe SW, Duff SV, Spinner R. IC 202: What Works, What Doesn't in Brachial Plexus Surgery & Rehabilitation. Invited. American Association for Hand Surgery (AAHS). Honolulu, HI. Jan. 2014.

Stegink Jansen CW, Duff SV, Field-Fote E, Gibbs K, Sinnott M, Sullivan JE. Measures of Arm and Hand Function Across Practice Patterns: An EDGE Approach. Combined Section Meeting (CSM) of the American Physical Therapy Association. Panel. Feb. 2014.


Duff SV, Heuer G, Berggren J. Infant brachial plexopathy: non-surgical & surgical management. CSM of the American Physical Therapy Association, San Diego, CA. Jan. 2013.

Estilow, Tim presented at the International Congress: Surgery of the foot and hand in CMT. Rome, Italy “Flexor digitorum superficialis opposition tendon transfer improves hand function in children with CMT: Case Series” (September 2013)


Burrell, C., Hunt, S. and Levin, A. presented at the Feeding Challenges of the NICU Graduate with the Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Center. Philadelphia, PA “Impact of Postural Control on Respiration and Oral Feeding” (March 30, 2012)

Duff SV. Workshop on "Pediatric Brachial Plexus Injury". Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hand Therapists, San Diego, CA. Oct. 2012


Shah K, Duff SV. Evaluation, intervention, and outcomes for infants with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy who undergo selective head cooling. Presented at: AOTA 91st Annual Conference & Expo; Philadelphia, PA. April 2011.

Professional poster presentations and panelist


Johansen, B., Miller, J. S., Maddox, B., Cunningham, K. (2016, April). Sensory processing in children with and without autism using the Sensory Profile and DSM5. Poster presented at the American Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference and Expo, Chicago, Il.


Morris, Evan (2015) Professional Panelist at the Annual Conference for Metachromatic Leukodystrophy Foundation: "What to do with MLD when nothing else works."

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