Our News Blog

50th Anniversary Alumni Profile Project

Post Thumbnail

50th Logo

The School of Rehabilitation Therapy is celebrating its 50th Anniversary! In recognition of this special milestone, the School is publishing an online Alumni Profile Project. This series of alumni profiles will feature graduates from all of our programs, paying tribute to the diversity of experience, achievements, and contributions, of our alumni community.

Adeena Wisenthal (PhD '16)

Adeena Wisenthal (PhD RHBS ’16)

“Embracing the clinician-researcher role”

Guest blog by Adeena Wisenthal, an occupational therapist in private practice in Ottawa, Ontario. Adeena is owner/operator of ERGO-Wise specializing in return-to-work preparation through her innovative cognitive work hardening program (bridge2workTM). Adeena graduated from Queen’s School of Rehabilitation Therapy with a PhD in Rehabilitation Science in 2016.

As a recent alumni, my six years of doctoral studies at Queen’s University are still fresh in my mind. I attended Queen’s as a mature student and a clinician with over 20 years’ experience in the fields of rehabilitation and mental health. Transitioning to research was challenging but at the same time it afforded me the opportunity to view rehabilitation from a different lens which I now bring with me to my role as clinician.

The field of occupational therapy strongly promotes research as a means to build an evidence-based profession. This includes a call out to clinicians to step outside their comfort zone and embark on research in order to study the effectiveness of treatment interventions and to ensure that research is relevant to clinical practice. My experience at Queen’s has enabled me to embrace the clinician-researcher role and to contribute to the field by offering research findings that build on an already strong evidence-based profession and that contribute to best practices. I have had the opportunity to study a treatment intervention in a rigorous manner, thus bringing to the profession outcome research findings that support the intervention that not only adds to clinicians’ toolkits but has the potential of enhanced treatment outcomes.

While my years of clinical success earned me the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapist’s Innovative Practice Award (2009), my PhD from Queen’s has positioned me to straddle both the clinical and research worlds. I can now bridge the clinical domain with scientific study thereby advancing the profession of occupational therapy.

My area of research and field of practice is return-to-work, primarily within the mental health domain. The intervention I studied was ‘cognitive work hardening’, an adaptation of the more classical ‘work hardening’ (which is an occupationally-based intervention that involves the client in simulated or actual work tasks designed to progressively increase stamina, productivity, and overall work ability for the purpose of return-to-work preparation). My research enabled me to conduct an in depth study of cognitive work hardening that supported the intervention’s effectiveness and highlighted key intervention elements. In addition to strengthening my own clinical practice, publication of my research findings and ultimately manualization of the intervention will bring to the field of occupational therapy a multi-dimensional intervention that can be offered by a broader community of occupational therapists so that a greater number of clients can benefit with enhanced return-to-work outcomes.

The completion of my doctoral studies at Queen’s coincided with an increased awareness of mental health in the media and among individuals and workplaces. We have Bell Let’s Talk Day and Queen’s University’s own Bell Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Research Chair. It is my hope that my research builds on these initiatives by making cognitive work hardening more mainstream and a natural intervention choice to help prepare people to return to work after an episode of depression. My PhD from Queen’s is a critical step to making this goal a reality.

***

For more information on the School’s 50th Anniversary celebrations, our generous sponsors, and how you can get involved, visit: http://rehab.queensu.ca/initiatives/anniversary

Leave a Reply

Post Timeline

50th Anniversary Alumni Profile Project
Published Wed, August 30, 2017

The School of Rehabilitation Therapy is celebrating its 50th Anniversary! In recognition of this special milestone, the School is publishing an online alumni profile project. This series of alumni profiles will feature graduates from all of our programs, paying tribute to the diversity of experience, achievements, and contributions of our alumni community. Dr. Mary Law,  PhD, FCAOT, FCAHS, is one of the … Continue reading

50th Anniversary Alumni Profile Project
Published Tue, August 15, 2017

The School of Rehabilitation Therapy is celebrating its 50th Anniversary! In recognition of this special milestone, the School is publishing an online alumni profile project. This series of alumni profiles will feature graduates from all of our programs, paying tribute to the diversity of experience, achievements, and contributions of our alumni community. Interviewed and reported by Janet Law, PT MSc BScPT … Continue reading

50th Anniversary Alumni Profile Project
Published Tue, June 13, 2017

The School of Rehabilitation Therapy is celebrating its 50th Anniversary! In recognition of this special milestone, the School is publishing an online Alumni Profile Project. This series of alumni profiles will feature graduates from all of our programs, paying tribute to the diversity of experience, achievements, and contributions of our alumni community. Expanding Horizons: Inspiring Advocacy for Disability and Rehabilitation … Continue reading

CAOT Conference 2017
Published Fri, May 26, 2017

As a Gold Sponsor of the School of Rehabilitation Therapy’s 50th Anniversary, the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) was invited to write a feature piece for the School’s News Blog. We warmly thank CAOT for the contribution of this article, and for their generous support of the School in its 50th year.  **** Each year, CAOT’s Conference brings together … Continue reading

QEII Scholars Blog Series – “Surviving polio in Nigeria”
Published Thu, May 11, 2017

This article was contributed by Surajo Sulaiman, a doctoral student in the Rehabilitation Science program. Surajo is a physiotherapist by training and throughout his career has worked as a clinician, primarily with persons with physical disabilities in Nigeria. Through his research, Surajo hopes to improve the quality of life of polio-survivors and other persons with disabilities in Nigeria. *** Poliomyelitis … Continue reading