Darragh Amy 825x990


Division Director, Associate Professor

406 Atwell Hall
453 W. 10th Ave.
Columbus, OH 43210

Phone: 614-293-3760

Primary Professional Areas of Interest

  • Occupational Health: Injury and Illness Prevention
  • Adults and Pediatric Neurorehabilitation
  • Family Caregiver Health
  • Academic Leadership

Research Focus

Dr. Darragh’s research is based on a conceptual model that asserts that protecting the health of formal (professional healthcare providers) and informal (unpaid; family) caregivers and promoting positive patient outcomes are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, efforts to reduce illness, injury, and stress among caregivers will influence patient outcomes, and strategies for effective patient rehabilitation will reduce illness, injury, and stress among caregivers.

She has pursued two primary lines of inquiry in both adult and pediatric populations which focus on protecting the musculoskeletal, physical and mental health of caregivers (formal or informal) while optimizing adult or pediatric patient outcomes.

Most recently her work is focused on intensive pediatric neurorehabilitation through two multisite comparative effectiveness trials examining intensive interventions to improve the use of the hemiparetic arm in infants, toddlers, and young children, both funded by NIH-NICHD. In addition, she has just completed a CDC-NIOSH funded trial developing and testing a virtual simulation training system to teach home healthcare workers to detect and respond to health and safety hazards in client homes.

Dr. Darragh serves on the research committee of the American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine and is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association Academic Leadership Council. She is a Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association.

Professional and Academic Leadership

Dr. Darragh is the director of the Occupational Therapy Division in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences in the College of Medicine.  She assumed this role in 2014 and led the OT Division through its transition from an entry-level Master’s degree to an entry level Doctoral degree.  She also spearheaded the OT Division’s transition to a Holistic Admissions process to increase the diversity of experience, background and thought of our student body.  In this capacity, she serves on the SHRS Executive Committee, the College of Medicine Education Leadership Team, and the SHRS Graduate Studies Committee. In addition, she serves on the University Senate representing the College of Medicine, a term that began in August, 2017 and is a member of the Council on Student Affairs. Her leadership interests include strategic planning, faculty professional development and mentorship, and diversity and inclusion.

Recent Selected Publications

Hand, B., Lane, A., DeBoeck, P., Basso, D.M., Larsen, D., Darragh, A.D. (October, 2017). Caregiver burden varies by sensory subtypes and sensory dimension scores of children with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. epub ahead of print. 1-14. DOI 10.1007/s10803-017-3348-1.

Darragh, A.R. & Campo, M. (March, 2017). Health-related quality of life impacted by severity and age in occupational and physical therapists with musculoskeletal disorders. International Journal of Safe Patient Handling and Mobility, 7(1).

Harwood, K.J. Scalzitti, D., Campo, M.A., Darragh, A.R. (December, 2016). A systematic review of safe patient handling and mobility programs to improve patient outcomes in rehabilitation. American Journal of Safe Patient Handling and Movement, 6(4), 141-150.

Darragh, A.R., Lavender, S., Polivka, B., Sommerich, C.M., Wills, C.E., Hittle, B.A., Chen, R. Stredney, D.L. (May, 2016) Gaming simulation as health and safety training for home healthcare workers. Clinical Simulation in Nursing, 12(8), 328-335

Recent Presentations

Darragh, AR & DiGiovine, C. (May, 2018). Holistic Admissions: Diversity in the OT Workforce Starts with OT Education. World Federation of Occupational Therapy, Capetown, South Africa, May 21-25, 2018.

Larsen, D & Darragh, AR. (October, 2017). Holistic Review in Admissions. Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions Annual Meeting. San Antonio, TX. 

Darragh, AR, Koss, L, Persch, A, DeLuca, S, Ramey, S. (September, 2017). Facilitating Parent Participation in Intensive Therapies: the Parents as Partners Approach. AACPDM, Montreal, Canada.

Stredney, D, Darragh, AR, Wills, C., Lavender, S, Sommerich, C, & Polivka, B. (June, 2017). Virtual Simulation Training System (VSTS). NIOSH 2017 Expanding Research Partnerships: State Of The Science Conference. Aurora, CO. Ignite Session.

Courses Taught

  • OCCTHER 6740 Health Planning for Individuals and Communities
  • OCCTHER 6730 Research Methods
  • OCCTHER 7270 Occupational Performance, Environment and Context: Assessment and Intervention
  • HTHRHSC 7910 Evidence Based Practice II: Critical Analysis of Intervention Research & Systematic Review
  • OCCTHER 7710 Capstone Preparation
  • OCCTHER 7720 Capstone Project Proposal
  • OCCTHER 7730 Capstone Project Completion


  • 1988: B.A., Psychology, Barnard College of Columbia University
  • 1995: M.S., Occupational Therapy, Colorado State University
  • 2001: Ph.D., Environmental Health-Epidemiology
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