Children with disabilities--Care--United States; Parents of children with disabilities; Medical personnel--caregiver relationships; Caregivers--Family relationships--United States; Motor ability


The purpose of this study was to determine to what extent techniques taught during a two-day educational training on body mechanics for lifting and transferring are learned and can be demonstrated by Mexican parents with their children who have a disability. Three parents of children with a disability who attended a culturally relevant educational training on body mechanics lead by graduate occupational therapy students participated in research on their transfer safety. Their body mechanics were observed and scored while they performed up to four transfers prior to and after attending the educational training. Participants performed significantly better on floor transfers after the educational training with a large effect size (d = 2.83). There was no statistically significant difference between pre- and post-tests for bath transfers, and the remaining transfers did not have enough participants to calculate statistical significance. This pilot study had promising results, that using a culturally relevant program, Mexican parents can learn safe transfer techniques. It is important that occupational therapists continue to educate caregivers in how to safely perform a transfer and use multiple methods including verbal instruction, demonstration and practice of real transfers, as well as take into account different cultures and adapt training to be more culturally relevant. Future research is important and could look at a larger sample of participants to see if the training is effective for the other transfer types.

First Advisor

George Tomlin, PhD, OTR/L

Second Advisor

Tatiana Kaminsky, PhD, OTR/L

Date of Completion

Spring 2013

Degree Type







Degree Name

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT)

Date of Award



Occupational Therapy


University of Puget Sound