Featured Scholar: Victoria Garcia Wilburn, D.H.Sc., OTR, CLT, FAOTA
Assistant Professor, IUPUI School of Health & Human Sciences
Research Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrjo9aMrP_0
Understanding cravings and triggers in adolescents attending a recovery high school in a COVID-19 era
According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, in 2018 some 863,000 12 to 17-year olds were diagnosed with substance use disorder (SUD). However, only .3% received the treatment necessary to begin the journey of recovery. As SUD symptoms of cravings and triggers in adolescents interfere with healthy adulthood milestone transition, it is increasingly important to investigate the real-life barriers in this unique pandemic time and beyond.
Professor Victoria Garcia Wilburn has partnered with Hope Academy Recovery High School (HARHS) since 2017 to explore the integration of occupational therapy (OT) as part of the core high school recovery team. This most recent project aims to amplify the voice of members directly within the community - the adolescent students – by using real time data collection methods known as Ecological Momentary Assessments (EMAs). Professor Devon Hensel has vast experience in recruiting and retaining large cohorts of participants for clinical and behavioral research and is a leading researcher utilizing EMA as an approach to daily collection of health and behavioral health data.
Such an approach will allow the research team to better comprehend adolescents’ daily lived experience, improve client centered care, and allow for a greater fidelity in capturing the “real life” barriers in SUD. These data will assist in producing interventions that are theory driven and help to lay the necessary groundwork for larger studies to evaluate the effectiveness of function-based interventions in order to establish occupational therapy's distinct role in SUD recovery, ultimately leading to state and national policy change.