OTD Capstone Highlight: The EMPOWER Program

This infographic describes an OTD Capstone of an online training program developed to support direct support professionals working with adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Submitted by: Katie Caspero @katie
Setting of intended use: Community-Based Practice

What inspired this resource:

This infographic was created based on an OTD Capstone project by Dr. Amy Castagnino. Amy and I worked together to design this resource through my company, OT Graphically, and were connected through our alma mater, Duquesne University. The EMPOWER program includes online training modules supporting direct support professionals using person-centered services with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

How is it utilized:

This quick visual overview shows an example of an OT-led program that improves confidence and competence with direct support professionals using person-centered care.

What evidence supports it?

The capstone project was data-driven and demonstrated significant clinical effect sizes from pre and post-tests of competence and confidence surveys.

Reference: Castagnino, A., & Blaskowitz, M. (2022). EMPOWER: An Online Staff Training Focused on Person-Centered Supports for Direct Support Professionals. The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy , 10 (1), 1-16.

Instructions or tips for utilization:

This resource can be used to advocate for OTs role in supporting direct support professionals. Sharing this infographic with the administration and executives of community-based companies may help lead to the creation of new jobs for OTs. This resource can quickly share with key stakeholders (administration) the improvements in outcomes of confidence and competence of their staff using an easily accessible online program.

See infographic:

EMPOWER+copy.pdf (142.5 KB)

Learn more about Amy’s work on this podcast where I interviewed her about the program.

I can’t read the infographic. it is too small. Can it be enlarged.

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Oooo good call, @ruthlincoln! I was looking at it on mobile and able to zoom-in but here on desktop it is hard to see! @katie I wonder if including the image as it is, but then attaching a larger file would be the way to go?

Also, how surreal to see @meghan7 on here as a co-author!!! I always love her thought-leadership on OT and ID! I highly recommend our interview with her to learn more about her work!

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@SarahLyon I added a downloadable file - let me know if that works or is easier to see!

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Ooooo yes! I like being able to pull the file up even bigger! Thank you, @katie

Hi am wondering what confidence test was used?

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Good question, I was curious too and found this paragraph in the full article! (I feel comfortable sharing because the article is open access!)

The DSPs’ confidence was measured pre and post training through seven 4-point Likert-scale items focused on content areas such as community participation, supporting individuals with IDD, planning activity, identifying barriers and supports, addressing issues, and modifying an activity (e.g., 0 = not confident at all through 3 = very confident). This scale was created to evaluate the impact of the
training modules on the DSPs’ confidence in providing person-centered supports and was administered through an online Qualtrics XM (2019) platform. This was a researcher-created tool; therefore, no psychometric properties were reported. However, the tool was modeled after Zakrajsek et al.’s (2014) staff confidence measure for their DSP training module focused on improving staff’s ability to implement effective services for individuals with IDD.