Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Dr. David L. Nelson

Second Advisor

Dr. Cindee Peterson

Third Advisor

Dr. Richard Cooper

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This study compared the effects of hands-on occupation versus verbal occupation in terms of free recall performance in brain-injured adults. Thirty males who had sustained a closed head injury with Rancho Los Amigos (Malkmus & Stenderup, 1974) cognitive levels of either VI, VII, or VIII were selected from nine midwestern brain injury rehabilitation facilities and randomly assigned to either the hands-on or verbal condition. After all subjects received preliminary verbal instructions for a food preparation occupation, verbal subjects again received the verbal information while the hands-on subjects prepared the food item. Subjects were then asked to recall the occupation's steps presented to them in order. Subject responses were tape-recorded, transcribed, and scored according to predetermined criteria for content and sequencing by an assistant who was blind to the purpose of the study and subject condition. Inter-observer reliability was established. A Mann-Whitney U test indicated a significant difference in favor of the hands-on condition, p <.0001.

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