Date of Paper/Work


Type of Paper/Work

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy


Occupational Science/Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Stephanie de Sam Lazaro


Doctor of Occupational Therapy


Introduction. Individuals with cerebral palsy often struggle with sleep positioning. Night time postural care (NTPC) is a possible intervention to help with body shape, comfort, pain, and sleep quality although there is not currently strong evidence supporting it.

Purpose. The purpose of this capstone was to develop a training program in preparation for a pilot study and to educate clinical scientists on health literacy and plain language.

Approach. Two separate approaches were taken: the first was for the training packages and the second approach was for the education session. For the training packages, volunteers were sent one of three NTPC trainings and asked to complete surveys for feedback. For the education session, clinical scientists completed a pre/post survey about health literacy tools.

Outcomes. Themes were identified from survey results for both sets of data. Themes derived from the training packages included: 1) information being clear & concise, 2) trainings being easy to follow, 3) preference for in person training, 4) unclear on the intended audience, and 5) no recommendations for change. Themes derived from the education session included: 1) research materials not being at the recommended reading level, 2) scientists having some existing knowledge of plain language, and 3) scientists gaining new tools for research.

Implications. Making sure that teams are multidisciplinary is best for NTPC. Occupational therapy has a unique role in sleep care because it addresses more than just the person’s body. In addition, plain language principles need to be included in all patient/client interfacing materials whether it be handouts or study materials.

Recommendations. Include multiple disciplines in healthcare program development to ensure different perspectives are addressed and patients receive holistic care. Also, use of plain language in documents makes them more accessible and easier to understand & translate. Tools such as the PEMAT-AV and PRISM checklist make plain language objective allowing for change to be tracked.