Interview with 2020 Academy of Research Recipient, Jennifer Fleming, PhD, OTR/L, FOTARA
Established in 1983, the AOTF Academy of Research in Occupational Therapy recognizes individuals who have made exemplary and distinguished contributions toward the science of occupational therapy. Our 2020 inductee is Jennifer Fleming, PhD, OTR/L, FOTARA, Professor and Head of Occupational Therapy at The University of Queensland. Her research aims to improve the lives of people with brain impairment by understanding psychosocial and cognitive limitations arising from neurological injury and discovering effective occupation-based rehabilitation methods. She is a Fellow of the Occupational Therapy Australia Research Academy and Fellow of the Australasian Society for the Study of Brain Impairment (ASSBI), and co-Editor of the journal, Brain Impairment.
Identify three words that others have used to describe you: Open-minded, supportive, capable
How do you hope to make a difference in the world through research? I hope that my research helps occupational therapists and other members of the multidisciplinary team to develop better ways to work with people with brain injury.
What is one piece of advice you have for individuals considering a career in science and research? Never miss the conference dinner!
Beside your own areas of inquiry, what is one research priority that you believe is important for the future of occupational science and occupational therapy? The relationship between mental health and occupation.
Describe the most important role that mentors played in your professional journey: Encouraging me to apply for things that I would not have dreamt of going for.
Identify a favorite occupation that renews you outside of your work: Walking on the beach.
What has been the most surprising or rewarding aspects of a career in science and research? Most rewarding is seeing the excellence that is developing in the next generation of occupational therapy researchers.
Ownsworth, T., Fleming, J., Tate, R., Beadle, E., Griffin, J., Kendall, E., Schmidt, J., Lane-Brown, A., Chevingnard, M., & Shum, D. (2017). Do people with severe traumatic brain injury benefit from making errors? A randomized controlled trial of error-based and errorless learning. Journal of Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, 31 (12) 1072-1082.
Schmidt, J., Fleming, J., Ownsworth, T., & Lannin, N. (2013). Video-feedback on functional task performance improves self-awareness after traumatic brain injury: A randomised controlled trial. NeuroRehabilitation and Neural Repair, 27, 316-324. doi: 10.1177/1545968312469838
Fleming, J., Nalder, N., Alves-Stein, S., & Cornwell, P. (2014). The effect of environmental barriers on community integration for individuals with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, 29(2), 125-135.
Fleming, J., Sampson, J., Cornwell, P., Turner, B., & Griffin, J. (2012). Brain injury rehabilitation: The lived experience of inpatients and their family caregivers. Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 19, 184-193.
Fleming, J.M., Strong, J. & Ashton, R. (1996). Self-awareness of deficits in adults with traumatic brain injury. How best to measure? Brain Injury, 10, 1-15.