Student Spotlight: Shabnam Medhizadah

Published: April 9th, 2018

Category: Student Spotlight

Shabnam Medhizadah, a second year Rehabilitation Science PhD student, participated and presented on the “Construction and Validation of the 32-item Fitness-to-Drive Screening Measure” and won second place for the Levitt Award. TShabnam joined the Rehabilitation Science program in spring 2017, and she is mentored by Dr. Sherrilene Classen.

What has been your experience in the Rehabilitation Science program? What have you enjoyed most about the program?

My experience with the Rehabilitation Science program has been very rewarding. The program has offered many opportunities contributing to my academic and personal growth. The interdisciplinary nature of the program has embedded in me the importance of interdisciplinary research. Through collaborations with students and faculty from across the different health disciplines, I have had the opportunity to explore areas of research through multiple lenses. The ability to take diverse courses, attend world-renowned guest lectures and national/international conferences has reiterated the importance of rehabilitation sciences and the powerful impact we can have on individual lives as researchers. With the guidance and support of the distinguished mentors, faculty, and staff I have been able to continue to strive to be my best and do my best. My mentor, Dr. Sherrilene Classen, has always provided me with invaluable experiences and learning opportunities to be a successful rehabilitation science researcher. Everything we do has an impact on the world around us, and I think the work we are learning to do as rehabilitation scientists will contribute to improving the lives of others.

What are you currently researching?

My general area of research focuses on the fitness to drive of medically at-risk populations.

As the number of older adults (ages 65+) continues to increase, the need to effectively and efficiently identify at-risk older drivers and mitigate the effects of age-related declines also increases. The Fitness-to-Drive Screening Measure (FTDS) has the potential to assist proxy raters (family members, friends, formal/informal caregivers) and clinicians with screening and making initial fitness-to-drive decisions for older adults. However, the FTDS’ current format, length and structure may be hindering the tools uptake and impact. Therefore, our current work is focusing on overcoming some of the limitations by developing and validating an efficient FTDS short-form for proxies and clinicians to screen for and identify at-risk older drivers and make initial fitness to drive decisions.

Publications, Presentations, and Awards

  1. Alvarez, L., Classen, S., Medhizadah, S., Knott, M., Asantei, K., & He, W. (2018). Feasibility of DriveFocusTM and driving simulation interventions in young drivers. OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health. Accepted with revisions.
  2. Medhizadah, S., Classen, S., & Johnson, A. M. (2017). The predictive validity of the short Form Fitness-to-Drive Screening Measure. American Journal of Occupational Therapy. Accepted with revisions.
  3. Medhizadah, S., Classen, S., & Johnson, A. M. (2018). Constructing and validating the 32-item Fitness-to-Drive Screening Measure©. OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health, 38(2), 89-95.
  4. Classen, S., & Medhizadah, S. (2017). Fitness-to-Drive Screening Measure: A valid and reliable tool for occupational therapy practice. SIS Quarterly Practice Connections, 2(1), 19-21.
  5. Knott, M., Alvarez, L., Krasniuk, S., & Medhizadah, S. (2016). Writing for the Reader’s Brain: A book review. OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health, 36(2), 99.
  6. Classen, S., Medhizadah, S., & Alvarez, L. (2016). The Fitness-to-Drive Screening Measure©: Patterns and trends for Canadian users. The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, 4(4), 1-15.
  7. Classen, S., Medhizadah, S., & Alvarez, L. (2015). The Fitness-to-Drive Screening Measure: Enabling caregivers to detect at-risk older drivers. Occupational Therapy Now, 17(5), 12.

Presentations

  1. Classen, S., Jeghers, M., Medhizadah, S., Winter, S., King, L. & Struckmeyer, Pre-Conference workshop. Autonomous vehicles and medically at-risk-drivers through the lifespan: Role, function and future directives for the driver rehabilitation specialist. ADED, August 2018, Richmond VA, USA.
  2. Classen, S., Jeghers, M., Medhizadah, S. General session oral presentation. Vehicle automation technologies and medically at-risk drivers through the lifespan: Role, function and future directives for the driver rehabilitation specialist. ADED, August 2018, Richmond VA, USA.
  3. Classen, S., Medhizadah, S., Winter, S., & Alvarez, L. Oral Presentation. Fitness-to-Drive Screening Measure©: A clinically useful and culturally diverse tool for identifying at-risk older drivers. WFOT Congress 2018, May 2018, Cape town, South Africa.
  4. Classen, S., Alvarez, L., Bundy, A., Medhizadah, S., Krasniuk, S., Patomella, A-H., Swanepoel, L., Winter, S., Reid, E., & Jeghers, M. Poster Presentation. Fitness to drive and neurological impairments: An evidence-based approach to driving screening, assessment and intervention. WFOT Congress 2018, May 2018, Cape town, South Africa.
  5. Classen, S., Medhizadah, S., & Winter, S. Short course. Clinical utility of the Fitness-to-Drive Screening Measure© to identify at-risk older drivers. AOTA Conference, April 2018, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.
  6. Medhizadah, , Classen, S., & Johnson, A. M. Poster presentation. Constructing and validating the 32-item Fitness-to-Drive Screening Measure. 8th Annual Institute for Learning in Retirement Conference, February 2018, Gainesville, Florida, USA.
  7. Classen, S., Medhizadah, S. & Winter, S. Workshop: Clinical Utility of the Fitness-to-Drive Screening Measure© for identifying at-risk older drivers. FOTA Conference 2017, November 2017, Orlando, Florida, USA.
  8. Medhizadah, , & Classen, S. Oral presentation. Fitness-to-Drive Screening Measure©: A valid and reliable screening tool for caregivers. Florida Conference on Aging, August 2017, Orlando, Florida, USA.
  9. Medhizadah, , Classen, S., & Johnson, A. M. Poster presentation. Constructing and validating the short form Fitness-to-Drive Screening Measure. 6th Occupational Therapy Summit of Scholars, June 2017, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
  10. Medhizadah, , Classen, S., & Johnson, A. M. Poster presentation. Constructing and validating the short form Fitness-to-Drive Screening Measure. PHHP Research Day, April 2017, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA.
  11. Classen, S., Alvarez, L., Krasniuk, S., & Medhizadah, Pre-Conference Workshop. Fitness to drive through the lifespan: An evidence-based approach from screening to intervention. The Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists Conference July 2017, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA.
  12. Alvarez, L., Classen, S., Medhizadah, S., Knott, M. Podium presentation. Hazard Detection in Novice Drivers: A DriveFocus™ and Simulator Intervention. Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists Conference June 2017, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Awards

March 2018                 Levitt Award Recipient

Institute for Learning in Retirement Conference, Gainesville, FL, USA

June 2017                    RSD Travel Award

                                    University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA

June 2017                    3rd Place Poster Presentation Award Recipient

OT Summit of Scholars Conference, Boston, MA, USA