Sue Berger, PhD, OTR/L, BCG, FAOTA

Sue Berger, PhD, OTR/L, BCG, FAOTA

Sue Berger
Title
Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy
Office
635 Commonwealth Ave, SAR-509
Email
sueb@bu.edu
Phone
(617) 353-7512
Education
PhD in Gerontology, University of Massachusetts, Boston, 2009.
MS in Gerontology, University of Massachusetts, Boston, 2006.
MS in Occupational Therapy (post-professional), University of New Hampshire, 1998.
BS in Occupational Therapy, University of Wisconsin, 1978.
CV
Download CV

Scholarly, Research, and/or Practice Interests

Dr. Berger’s clinical experience has been primarily with adults and spans the health care continuum, including environments of acute care, rehabilitation, long-term care, and home care. Her research focuses on older adults with chronic conditions, specifically those living with vision loss, stroke, and Parkinson’s disease.  She seeks to understand the barriers and strategies to participation in social and leisure occupations for both the older adult and his or her care partner. She has also traveled with students to Ecuador, Ghana, and Honduras, as she is committed to providing students with opportunities to experience other cultures and understand how cultural differences influence participation in daily life. Dr. Berger is a member of the Gerontology Special Interest Section Advisory Board, a Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association, and a recipient of the BU Sargent College Whitney R. Powers award for teaching excellence.

Courses Taught

Entry-level MS in Occupational Therapy courses (please note that BU is transitioning to the Entry-level OTD program)

SAR OT501: Integrative Seminar II and LIFW

This course is the second in a four-seminar sequence designed to develop and enhance professional reasoning processes by integrating knowledge and skills from previous educational and work experiences and from concurrent OT courses with weekly fieldwork experiences. This seminar focuses on reasoning related to theories of learning and behavior change; the assessment, intervention, and documentation process; use of theory and research evidence in practice; therapeutic rapport and communication; and other professional topics and issues as they relate to working with persons and populations of all ages in a variety of OT practice contexts. Self-directed and collaborative learning, class participation, reflective writing for application and analysis of learning, case-based learning, and ongoing development of a professional portfolio are essential aspects of this seminar. (Credits: 2)

SAR OT526: Functional Movement: Analysis and Assessment

This occupational therapy course examines changes in gross and fine movement skills across the life course, and the relation of these changes to occupational performance. In addition, students learn biomechanical, ecological systems, and dynamical systems' principles underlying human movement and their application to functional activities including seating, transfers, and mobility. Principles covered in lecture are applied through practical experiences and discussions during the application sessions. (Credits: 4)

SAR OT530: Occupation Based Practice with Groups

This Level I Fieldwork Practicum and Integrative Seminar in Occupational Therapy is the culminating course in a four-semester course sequence. It is designed to enhance clinical reasoning by integrating knowledge and skills from current and previous courses with a weekly fieldwork experience. Students use principles of program development, needs assessment, group intervention planning and implementation, along with theory and research evidence, to design and co-lead occupation-centered groups in a variety of practice settings and contexts with child, adult and elder populations. Readings, independent learning, and group supervision are combined with assignments specific to planning and leading a group. Class participation and independent learning are an essential aspect of this course. (Credits: 4)

SAR OT563: Context and Occupational Performance

This graduate course in occupational therapy is designed to be taken concurrently with two other complementary courses: OT564 and OT503 (Integrative Seminar/LIFW III). This course focuses on knowledge and resources needed for effective clinical reasoning in occupation therapy practice. Topics covered include practice contexts/environments, healthcare/education regulations and policies, and interdisciplinary practitioner roles. Content is applied particularly to individuals living with long-term conditions who are most likely to benefit from compensatory and adaptive interventions to enable performance of meaningful occupations. Classes consist primarily of lectures, group discussions, audiovisual presentations, and case study discussions. (Credits: 4)

SAR OT564: Skills for Occupation Based Practice I

This companion course to OT563 Context and OT502 Integrative Seminar III emphasizes the development of assessment and intervention skills for working with individuals living with chronic conditions likely to benefit from compensatory and adaptive strategies. Students have opportunity for hands-on practice in selecting, administering, and interpreting assessments, as well as choosing and implementing occupation-based interventions. Best practice is promoted by requiring students to support their assessment and intervention choices through theoretical and empirical evidence. (Credits: 4)

SAR OT565: Skills for Occupation Based Practice II

This companion course to OT566 Client Factors emphasizes the development of assessment and intervention skills for working with individuals living with conditions likely to benefit from remedial interventions directed toward performance skills and client factors. Students have opportunity for hands-on practice in selecting, administering, and interpreting assessments, as well as choosing and implementing interventions. Best practice is promoted by requiring students to support their assessment and intervention choices through theoretical and empirical evidence. (Credits: 4)

SAR OT570: Special Topics in Occupational Therapy

Advanced study in a selected area of occupational therapy theory or practice. Specific topic announced in the semester offered. Seminar and/or supervised laboratory study as appropriate to the particular topic. (Credits: Var)

SAR OT736: Independent Study

Individually supervised study for advanced students wishing to pursue a specialized area of interest in occupational therapy. (Credits: Var)

Post-professional distance education OTD Courses

SAR OT610: Health Promotion and Wellness

This on-line graduate course focuses on developing a health promotion program grounded in theory. After an introduction to the field of public health and the role of occupational therapy in the area of health promotion and wellness, the course guides the student in the development of a program related to a health issue in his or her practice setting. The student will be introduced to frameworks and theories from pubic health and other disciplines and will then apply these as he or she develops a health promotion program. The student will read about and discuss programs in health promotion at the individual, group, and population level, for people with and without disabilities, and in a variety of environments. (3 credits) (Credits: 3)

SAR OT930: Doctoral Project

This is an on-line graduate course in the post-professional OTD program. Concurrent with each full semester (fall, spring, summer) in the OTD program, students register for one credit of the Doctoral Project. In the fourth semester of the program, students register for 3 credits of the Doctoral Project course. The Doctoral Project is organized around the student's proposed innovation in practice. It is in the form of a series of qualifying tasks, each of which represents a critical phase of the proposal. Guidance in the doctoral project will be through a combination of three elements: Faculty advising and mentorship, peer mentorship and a.Circle of Advisors composed of a minimum of two professionals with content expertise in the doctoral project. The project outcomes include: Description of a short-coming, gap or specific need in the student's area of practice; compilation of a theoretical and evidence base to support the proposed project; description of the proposed program; evaluation plan; funding plan; dissemination plan; executive summary and Fact Sheet. (1 credit each full semester until completed, 3 credits in the final semester - a minimum of 6 credits) (Credits: Var)

Publications

Peer-Reviewed Publications

  • Beger, S. (2013). From the desk of the guest editor. Effectiveness of occupational therapy interventions for older adults living with low vision. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 67(3), 263-265.
  • Berger, S., McAteer, J., Schreier, K., & Kaldenberg, J. (2013). Occupational therapy intervention to improve leisure and social participation of older adults with low vision: A systematic review. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 67(3), 303-311.
  • Berger, S. (2012).  Is my world getting smaller?  The challenges of living with vision loss.  Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, 106(1), 5-16.
  • Berger, S. (2011).  The meaning of leisure for older adults living with vision loss.  OTJR: Occupation, Participation & Health, 31(4), 193-199.
  • Berger, S. & Porell, F. (2008).  The Association between low vision and function. Journal of Aging and Health, 20, 504-525.

Book Chapters

  • Smallfield, S. & Berger, S. (in press). Productive aging. In A. Wagenfeld (Ed.), Foundations of therapy and practice for the occupational therapy assistant.
  • Berger, S. (2013).  Educating clients.  In B.A.B. Schell, G. Gillen, & M. Scaffa, (Eds.), Willard & Spackman occupational therapy (12th ed; pp. 353-363).  Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
  • Berger, S. & Kaldenberg, J. (2009).  Complexities associated with aging.  In S. Copolla, S. Elliott, & P. Toto (Eds.), Strategies to achieve gerontological excellence (SAGE) in occupational therapy practice (pp. 199-221). Bethesda, MD: AOTA Press.
  • Berger, S. (2009).  Client education.  In E.B. Crepeau, E.S. Cohn, & B.A.B. Schell (Eds.), Willard& Spackman occupational therapy (11th ed., pp. 418-425).  Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
  • Berger, S. & Diamant, R. (2005). Documentation.  In A. Wagenfeld. & J. Kaldenberg (Eds.), Developmental foundations of pediatric practice for the occupational therapy assistant (pp. 41-52).  Thorofare, NJ: Slack, Inc.
  • Berger, S. (2003). Personnel considerations and supervision. In K. Jacobs & A. Solomon (Eds.), Management skills for the occupational therapy assistant (pp. 85-102). Thorofare,NJ: Slack, Inc.

Non Peer-Reviewed Publications (dissertation, newsletter articles, practice  journal articles, web-based publications)

  • Berger, S., Kaldenberg, J., Carlo, S., & Selmane, R. Critically appraised topics: Traumatic brain injury-vision and visual processing. Retrieved from http://www.aota.org/Practice/Rehabilitation-Disability/Evidence-Based.aspx
  • Berger, S. & Tickle-Degnen, L. (2015, Winter). Work, play, live: Occupational therapy and Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s Disease Foundation News & Review. New York: Parkinson’s Disease Foundation.
  • Berger, S., Aravich, D., Dastur, N., Friedman, C., & Son, C. (2014). Changing the trajectory of stroke recovery through interprofessional care. OT Practice, 19(21), 7-12.
  • Roberts, P., Berger, S., Evenson, M., Khetani, M., & Crist, P. (2012). Decisions about doctorates: Deciding whether, when, and where to go.  OT Practice, 17(13), 149-20.
  • Berger, S., Coppola, S., Barton, S., Colter, H., Gleason, K., Kaminski, C., et al. (2012, March). Infusing occupational justice into gerontology practice. Gerontology Special Interest Section Quarterly, 35(1), 1–4.
  • Berger, S., Kaldenberg, J., McAteer, J., & Schreier, K. (2011).  AOTA critically appraised topics and paper series: Older adults with low vision. Retrieved from http://www.aota.org/CCL/Low-Vision/Low-Vision–Leisure.aspx
  • Berger, S. (2010). Leisure participation experiences among older adults with low vision (doctoral dissertation).  Retrieved from ProQuest. (AAT 3391822).
  • Roberts, P.S., Berger, S., Evenson, M.E., Khetani, M.A. (2010).  Doctoral education: Steps to consider.  OT Practice, 15(8), 19-21.
  • Huefner, K., Kaldenberg, J., & Berger, S. (2008, June).  Vision related issues facing older adults: The role of occupational therapy.  Gerontology Special Interest Section Quarterly, 31(2), 1-4.

Grant Support

  • 2013-2014:  University of South Dakota School of Health Sciences Seed Grant. Older Adults with Low Vision: Technology and the User Experience. (Smallfield, PI; University of South Dakota). Co-investigator.
  • 2008-2009:  American Occupational Therapy Foundation Dissertation Grant. Leisure Participation Experiences Among Older Adults with Low Vision.
  • 2008-2009:  University of Massachusetts-Boston Office of Research and Sponsored Programs Dissertation Grant. Leisure Participation Experiences Among Older Adults with Low Vision.
  • 2008-2009:  University of Massachusetts-Boston Gerontology Department Robert Morris Dissertation Support. Leisure Participation Experiences Among Older Adults with Low Vision.

Recent Presentations

Peer-reviewed  Presentations (workshops, symposiums, short courses, institutes)

  • Escher, A. & Berger, S. (2015, April). An interdisciplinary program for persons post-stroke with aphasia: Increasing community participation. Presentation at the American Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference & Expo, Nashville, TN.
  • Kaldenberg, J., Smallfield, S. & Berger, S. (2015, April). Addressing occupational needs of older adults with and without low vision through tablet technology. Presentation at the American Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference & Expo, Nashville, TN.
  • Barrett, K., Cohn, E., Berger, S., & Gilbertson, B. (2015, April). Building capacity for occupation and occupational therapy through the development of international partnerships. Presentation at the American Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference & Expo, Nashville, TN.
  • Lieberman, D., Arbesman, M., Berger, S., Kaldenberg, J., Chang, P.F., Padilla, R., Powell, J.M., Radomski, M.V., & Wheeler, S.D. (2014, April). Systematic review on occupational therapy and adults with traumatic brain injury. Presentation at the American Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference & Expo, Baltimore, MD.
  • Hoover, E., Berger S., DeAngelis, T.R., & Zawacki, S. (2013, November). An Intensive, Interprofessional, Community-Based Intervention Program for Persons Post-Stroke. Presentation at the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, Orlando, FL. 
  • Berger, S. (2013, October). Interprofessional education through a university-based, intensive, summer program for stroke survivors. Presentation at the American Occupational Therapy Association Educational Summit, Atlanta, GA.
  • Kaldenberg, J. & Berger, S. (2012, April).  Older adults and vision loss: What you need to know. Presentation at the annual meeting of the American Occupational Therapy Association, Indianapolis, IN.
  • Berger, S., Khetani, M., Evenson, M., Roberts, P., Crist, P. (2012, April). Demystifying the maze of doctoral education. Presentation at the annual meeting of the American Occupational Therapy Association, Indianapolis, IN.
  • Berger, S., Liu, C.L., Kaldenberg, J., Smallfield, S., & Justiss, M. (2011, November). Low vision rehabilitation for older adults: Review and recommendation (symposium chair and discussant). Presentation at the annual scientific meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, Boston, MA.
  • Barr, J.O., Berger, S., Damron-Rodriguez, J., & Perweiler, E.A. (2011, November). Advancing universal multidisciplinary competencies in the care of older adults. Presentation at the annual scientific meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, Boston, MA.
  • Berger, S. (2011, November). Challenges in the Art of Interviewing: Transitioning from clinician to researcher. Presentation at the annual scientific meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, Boston, MA.
  • Khetani, M., Berger, S., Evenson, M., Crist, P., & Roberts, P. (2011, April).  A practical guide to exploring options for doctoral education. Presentation at the annual meeting of the American Occupational Therapy Association, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Lieberman, D., Arbesman, M., Berger, S., Kaldenberg, J., Smallfield, S., Lium C. J., Justiss, M. (2011, April). Evidence-based literature review on occupational therapy and older adults with low vision.  Presentation at the annual meeting of the American Occupational Therapy Association, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Kaldenberg, J., Berger, S., & Leland, N. (2010, Oct.).  Older adults and falls: An evidence-based approach.  Presentation at the annual meeting of the Massachusetts Association of Occupational Therapy, Westford, MA
  • Berger, S. (2010, May). Low vision and leisure: The challenges of participation for older adults.  Presentation at the World Federation of Occupational Therapy Congress, Santiago, Chile.
  • Berger, S. (2010, April). Low vision and leisure: The challenges of participation for older adults.  Presentation at the annual meeting of the American Occupational Therapy Association, Orlando, FL.
  • Evenson, M., Khetani, M., Berger, S., & Roberts, P. (2009, April). Options for doctoral training to advance research, education, and practice. Presentation at the annual meeting of the American Occupational Therapy Association, Houston, TX.
  • Berger, S. & Kaldenberg, J. (2009, April).  Low vision and leisure: Let’s have fun.  Presentation at the annual meeting of the American Occupational Therapy Association, Houston, TX.
  • Berger, S., Kaldenberg, J., Escher, A., & Huefner, K. (2008, Sept.).  Lighting and contrast: Environmental issues for older adults.  Presentation at the annual meeting of the Massachusetts Association of Occupational Therapy, Westford, MA.
  • Kaldenberg, J. & Berger, S. (2008, April). Essential skills for working with older adults with low vision.  Presentation at the annual meeting of the American Occupational Therapy Association, Long Beach, CA.
  • Berger, S., Evenson, M., Khetani, M.A., & Merrill, S.C. (2007, October).  Doctoral programs: Is one right for me?  Presentation at the annual meeting of the Massachusetts Association of Occupational Therapy, Westford, MA.
  • Kaldenberg, J., Berger, S., & Escher, A. (2007, April).  Lighting and its relationship to visual function of older adults: A pilot study.  Presentation at the annual meeting of the American Occupational Therapy Association, St. Louis, MO.

Peer-Reviewed Posters

  • Pirri, K., Berger, S., & Peteet, J. (2015, April). “Ghana” make a difference: Health promotion and occupational therapy. Poster session presented at the American Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference & Expo, Nashville, TN.
  • Young, M.E., Abrams, E., & Berger, S. (2014, May). Helping medical students see: Incorporating low vision into medical student geriatrics curriculum.  Poster session presented at the Annual meeting of the American Geriatrics Society, Orlando, FL.
  • Barrett, K., Berger, S., & Cohn, E. (2013, October). The process of two US OT programs collaborating with Ecuadorian occupational therapists to promote shared learning. Poster session presented at the American Occupational Therapy Association Educational Summit, Atlanta, GA.
  • Escher, A. & Berger, S. (2013, October). Professor and clinician collaboration: A dynamic classroom environment. Poster session presented at the American Occupational Therapy Association Educational Summit, Atlanta, GA.
  • Berger, S., Son, A., Friedman, C., Dastur, N., & Aravich, D. (April 2013). Boston University stroke boot camp. Poster presentation at the annual meeting of the American Occupational Therapy Association, San Diego, CA.
  • Coppola, S. & Berger, S. (April, 2012). Innovations in teaching: Collaboration between universities to integrate multiple sources of evidence for best practice. Poster presentation at the annual meeting of the American Occupational Therapy Association, Indianapolis, IN.
  • Berger, S. (April, 2012). Partnership for health in aging: Multidisciplinary competencies in the care of older adults. Poster presentation at the annual meeting of the American Occupational Therapy Association, Indianapolis, IN.
  • Berger, S. (November, 2010).  Let’s have fun: The meaning of leisure for older adults living with vision loss. Poster presentation at the Gerontological Society of America, New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • Kaldenberg, J., Berger, S., Chu, G., Huefner, T., & Escher, E. (May, 2010).  Lighting and its relationship to visual function of older adults: A pilot study.  Poster presentation at the World Federation of Occupational Therapy Congress, Santiago, Chile.
  • Berger, S. (2009, November).  Leisure participation experiences of older adults living with low vision: The challenge of “getting out”.  Poster presentation at the annual meeting of the Gerontological Society of American, Atlanta, GA.
  • Steinman, B.A. & Berger, S. (2009, November).  Influence of cognition on functional outcomes in older adults with self-reported visual impairments.  Poster presentation at the annual meeting of the Gerontological Society of American, Atlanta, GA.

Awards and Recognitions

  • Summer 2015 Dean’s summer stipend award – Sargent College: Awarded one month salary in support of work related to development and presentation of a conference co-sponsored by AOTA and PDF related to Parkinson’s disease and OT. 
  • Summer 2014 Dean’s summer stipend award – Sargent College:  Awarded one month salary in support of leading service learning trip to Ghana and work related to the study of Social Self-Management in Persons with Parkinson’s disease.
  • Summer 2012: Dean’s summer stipend award – Sargent College: Awarded one month salary in support of leading service learning trip to Ghana and work related to the study of Social Self-Management in Persons with Parkinson’s disease.
  • Summer 2011: Dean’s summer stipend award – Sargent College: Awarded one month salary in support of leading Ecuador experience and revising textbook chapter.
  • Summer 2010: Dean’s summer stipend award – Sargent College:Awarded one month salary in support of work on 2 manuscripts.
  • June 2010: Gerontology Book Award for Outstanding Dissertation–UMass Boston
  • May 2010: Outstanding Faculty-in-Residence Award-Boston University
  • May 2009:  Whitney R. Powers Award for Teaching Excellence-Sargent College
  • April 2009: Roster of Fellows – AOTA
  • April 2009: Service Commendation, AOTA-Participation on BCG Phase III Panel
  • April 2009: Service Commendation, AOTA-Member RAE
  • April 2007: Service Commendation, AOTA-Participation on BCG Panel
  • April 2006: Service Commendation, AOTA-GSIS board member
  • April 2004: Service Commendation, AOTA-EDSIS board member
  • March 2006-present: Board Certified in Gerontology
  • March 2005-present: Sigma Phi Omega – National Gerontology Academic Honor Society

Professional Activities

  • 2013:  AOTA Education Symposium: Abstract reviewer
  • 2013-present: AOTA Systematic Review -TBI and vision
  • 2010-present: Partnership for Health in Aging – AOTA representative
  • 2009-2012: AOTA Systematic Review-Low vision and leisure
  • 2008-2010: Interdisciplinary Gerontology Panel – American Geriatrics Society
  • 2008-2009: Steering Committee member-McCormack Graduate School of Public Policy, UMass-Boston
  • 2008: Journal of Aging and Health-Manuscript Reviewer
  • 2008: Panel Board Member on AOTA Board Certification in Gerontology Phase III
  • 2007-present: Gerontology Special Interest Section-Advisory Board
  • 2006-2007: Gerontology Special Interest Section-Education/Research Liaison (AOTA)
  • 2006-present: Reviewer for AOTA Board and Specialty Certification
  • 2005: External Reviewer: Salem State College Occupational Therapy Program
  • 2004-2007: Advisory Board Member-New England Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center and The Center for Rehabilitation at Boston Medical Center.
  • 2004-2006: Panel Board Member on AOTA Board Certification in Gerontology Panel
  • 2003-present: Slack, Inc. – Manuscript reviewer

Licenses and Certifications:

  • Board Certified in Gerontology, AOTA, March 2006-present
  • Gerontological Society of America, Member, 2003-present
  • World Federation of Occupational Therapy, Member, 1999-present
  • Massachusetts Association for Occupational Therapy, Member, 1980-present
  • American Occupational Therapy Association, Member, 1979-present

International Experience:

  • 2014:  Co-faculty mentor for service learning trip to Ghana with 21 Sargent students.
  • 2013:  Co-coordinator of BU/St. Katherine collaborative Ecuador experience, leading 24 students and 6 professionals during a 2 week program
  • 2010, 2011:  Occupational therapy professional and student mentor at Foundations in Quito, Ecuador (collaborative program with students and faculty from St. Catherine University)
  • 2001 & 2004:  Volunteer occupational therapy professional and student mentor in Quito, Ecuador (through a program with Creighton University, Nebraska)
  • 2002: Volunteer occupational therapy professional and student mentor in Balfate, Honduras (co-organized with Boston University OT Professor Elsie Vergara)