Dawn M. Nilsen

Dawn
Dawn M. Nilsen Ed.D., OTR/L, FAOTA

Associate Professor of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine (Occupational Therapy)

Honorary Adjunct Assistant Professor of Movement Sciences and Education, Teachers College

E-mail: dmn12@cumc.columbia.edu

Education

  • Ed.D., Motor Learning and Control, Teachers College, Columbia University
  • Ed.M., Motor Learning and Control, Teachers College, Columbia University
  • M.S., Cell Biology and Anatomy, New York Medical College
  • B.S., Occupational Therapy, New York University

Clinical Expertise

  • Neurorehabilitation
  • Adult Physical Disabilities
  • Motor Learning and Control

Teaching Responsibilities

  • Course Coordinator for Human Anatomy and Neuroscience
  • Dissertation advisor for Ed.D. program
  • Elective: Reach to Grasp After Stroke: From Kinematic Comparisons to Clinical Applications

Research Interests

Determining the effectiveness and efficacy of therapeutic interventions on the recovery of occupational performance in persons with neurological impairments (special interest in the use of motor imagery/mental practice/mirror therapy), kinematic analysis of arm/hand function and the impact of body orientation on upper limb movement

Funded Research

  • Hudson-Taconic Division of NYSOTA, D. Nilsen – PI, 2013
    “Reliability of the Dartfish video analysis system for evaluating the kinematics of reaching and walking activities”. This pilot study examined the validity and reliability of the Dartfish system for reaching and walking activities. The validity and reliability of Dartfish will be determined by comparing kinematic variables captured by Dartfish with those same measurements taken simultaneously by the Vicon motion analysis system.
    Role: PI

Professional Awards, Recognitions, Activities

  • Inducted into the AOTA Roster of Fellows for Outstanding Contributions to Neurorehabilitation Education and Scholarship (April 2016)
  • Professional Member of AOTA, WFOT, and NYSOTA
  • Professional Member of American Heart/Stroke Association. Councils: Stroke Council Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Council
  • Board Certified in Neurorehabilitation by the AOTA (1996-2006)
  • Presenter at AOTA National Conferences and NYSOTA Annual Conferences
  • Editorial Board (Reviewer): American Journal of Occupational Therapy
  • Guest Reviewer: American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Disability and Rehabilitation, Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation, British Journal of Occupational Therapy, and Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy
  • Formal Invitation for Admittance into Kappa Delta Phi Honor Society for Education (2000)

Publications

Peer-Reviewed Research Publications in Print or Other Media

  • Bushnell, C., Bettger, J.P., Cockroft, K.M., Cramer, S.C., Edelen, M.O., Hanley, D., Katzan, I., Mattke, S., Nilsen, D.M., Piquado, T., Skidmore, E.R., Wing, K., Yenokyan, G. (2015). Chronic stroke outcome measures for motor function intervention trials: expert panel recommendations. Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, 8:S163-S169. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.115.002098
  • Nilsen, D.M., Gillen, G., Arbesman, M. & Lieberman, D. (2015). Evidence connection – Occupational therapy interventions for adults with stroke. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 69, 6905395010. doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2015.695002.
  • Coker, E., McIsaac, T., & Nilsen, D.M. (2015). Motor imagery modality in expert dancers: an investigation of hip and pelvis kinematics in demi-plié and sauté. Journal of Dance Medicine and Science, 19(2), 63-69. doi.org/10.12678/1089-313X.19.2.63
  • Nilsen, D. M., Gillen, G., Geller, D., Hreha, K., Osei, E., & Saleem, G. (2015). Effectiveness of interventions to improve occupational performance for those with motor impairments after stroke: An evidence based review. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 69(1), 6901180030p1-6901180030p9. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2015.011965.
  • Gillen, G., Nilsen, D. M., Attridge, J., Banakos, E., Morgan, M., Winterbottom, L., & York, W. (co-first author) (2015). Effectiveness of interventions to improve occupational performance for those with cognitive impairments after stroke: An evidence based review. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 69(1), 6901180040p1-6901180040p9. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2015.012138.
  • Nilsen, D. M. & DiRusso, T. (2014). Using mirror therapy in the home environment: a case report. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 68(3), e84 e89. doi:10.5014/ajot.2014.010389
  • Nilsen, D. M., Gillen, G., Geller, D., Hreha, K., Osei, E., & Saleem, G. (2014). What is the evidence for the effectiveness of interventions to improve occupational performance for those with motor deficits after stroke? [Critically Appraised Topic]. Bethesda, MD: American Occupational Therapy Association, Evidence-Based Practice Project. Available online here.
  • Gillen, G., Nilsen, D. M., Attridge, J., Banakos, E., Morgan, M., Winterbottom, L., & York, W. (co-first author) (2014) What is the evidence for the effectiveness of interventions to improve occupational performance for those with cognitive impairments after stroke? [Critically Appraised Topic]. Bethesda, MD: American Occupational Therapy Association, Evidence-Based Practice Project. Available online here.
  • Nobbe, J., Nilsen, D.M, & Gillen, G. (2012). Mental practice is modifiable: changes in perspective maintenance and vividness post-stroke. Journal of Imagery Research in Sport and Physical Activity, 7(1), Article 4, 1-16.
  • Nilsen, D.M., Gillen, G., Dirusso, T. & Gordon, A. (2012). Effect of imagery perspective on occupational performance after stroke: a randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66, 320-329.
  • Giron Coker, E., McIsaac, T., & Nilsen D.M. (2012). Effects of kinesthetic vs. visual imagery practice on two technical dance movements: a case series. Journal of Dance Medicine and Science, 16(1), 36-38.
  • Nilsen, D.M., Gillen, G., & Gordon, A.M. (2010). Use of mental practice to improve upper limb recovery after stroke: a systematic review. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 64, 695-708.
  • Steenbergen, B., Craje, C., Nilsen, D.M., & Gordon, A.M. (2009). Motor imagery training in hemiplegic cerebral palsy: A potentially useful therapeutic tool for rehabilitation. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 51(9), 690-696.
  • Nilsen, D.M., Kaminski, T.R., & Gordon, A. M. (2003). The effect of body orientation on a point-to-point movement in healthy elderly persons. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 57, 99-107.

Books/Textbooks

  • Wolf, T. & Nilsen, D.M. (co-first author) (2015) Occupational therapy practice guidelines for adults with stroke. Bethesda, MD: AOTA Press.

Book Chapters

  • Gillen, G. & Nilsen, D.M. (2016). Upper extremity function and management.  In Gillen, G. (ed.) Stroke rehabilitation: A function based approach (4th ed.). (pp. 424-485). St. Louis: Elsevier Science.
  • Nilsen, D.M., Kaminski, T.R., & Gordon, A.M. (2003). The effect of body orientation on a point-to-point movement in healthy elderly persons.  In M. Corcoran (Ed.)., Geriatric issues in occupational therapy: A compendium of leading research (pp. 53-65). Bethesda, MD: AOTA Press.

Public Media

Abstracts

  • Geller, D., Nilsen, D.M., VanLew, S., Bernardo, M., Gillen, G., Bateman, C., Graziano, K., Kadota, L., Swinnerton, P., & Zivari, O. (2016). Home mirror therapy: a randomized control pilot study comparing unimanual and bimanual therapy for improved arm/hand function post-stroke. Abstract for oral research presentation #218 at ACRM Annual Meeting.
  • Bishop, L., Stein, J., Schoenherr, G.S., Chen, C., Nilsen, D.M., Beer, R., & Helbock, R. (2014). Robot-assisted hand exercise compared with conventional exercise therapy after ischemic stroke: A pilot study. Abstract for poster session presented at the ASNR Annual Meeting, Montreal, Canada.

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