Dawn Nilsen, EdD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Profile Headshot

Overview

Academic Appointments

  • Associate Professor of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine (Occupational Therapy) at CUMC

Administrative Titles

  • Associate Director, Programs in Occupational Therapy

Gender

  • Female

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • BS, Occupational Therapy, New York University
  • EdD, Motor Learning and Control, Teachers College, Columbia University
  • EdM, Motor Learning and Control, Teachers College, Columbia University
  • MS, Cell Biology and Anatomy, New York Medical College

Honors & Awards

  • AOTA Recognition of Achievement Award: Author/Educator Who Has Advanced Neurorehabilitation, 2019
  • Inducted into the AOTA Roster of Fellows for Outstanding Contributions to Neurorehabilitation Education and Scholarship, 2016.
  • Professional Member of AOTA, WFOT, and NYSOTA
  • Professional Member of American Heart/Stroke Association. Councils: Stroke Council Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Council
  • Board Certified in Neurorehabilitation by the AOTA (1996-2006)
  • Presenter at AOTA National Conferences and NYSOTA Annual Conferences
  • Editorial Board (Reviewer): American Journal of Occupational Therapy
  • Guest Reviewer: American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Disability and Rehabilitation, Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation, British Journal of Occupational Therapy, and Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy
  • Formal Invitation for Admittance into Kappa Delta Phi Honor Society for Education, 2000

Research

Selected Publications

Peer Reviewed Publications

Parnandi, A., Uddin, J., Nilsen D.M., & Schambra, H.M. (2019). The Pragmatic Classification of Upper Extremity Motion in Neurological Patients: A Primer. Frontiers Neurology, 10:996. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2019.00996

Schambra, H.M., Parnandi , A., Natasha G. Pandit, N.G.., Jasim Uddin, J. , Audre Wirtanen, A., & Nilsen, D.M.  (2019). A taxonomy of functional upper extremity motion. Frontiers Neurology, 10:857. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2019.00857

Weber, L.M., Nilsen, D. M., Gillen, G.,  Yoon, J, & Stein, J. (2019). Immersive virtual reality mirror therapy for upper limb recovery after stroke: A pilot study. American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 98, 783–788.doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000001190

Parnandi, A., Uddin, J., Nilsen, D., & Schambra, H. (2018). Pragmatic classification of movement primitives for stroke rehabilitation. arXiv preprint arXiv:1902.08697 [cs.LG] https://arxiv.org/abs/1902.08697

Hreha, K., Gillen, G., Noce, N., & Nilsen, D. (2018). The feasibility and effectiveness of using prism adaptation to treat motor and spatial dysfunction in stroke survivors with multiple incidents of stroke. Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation doi 10.1080/10749357.2018.1437937

Guerra,  J., Uddin,  J., Nilsen, D.M., Mclnerney, J., Fadoo, A., Omofuma, I.B., Hughes, S., Agrawal, S., Allen, P., & Schambra, H.M. (2017). Capture, learning, and classification of upper extremity movement primitives in healthy controls and stroke patients. IEEE Int Conf Rehabil Robot, 547-554. doi:10.1109/ICORR.2017.8009305.

Bushnell, C., Bettger, J.P., Cockroft, K.M., Cramer, S.C., Edelen, M.O., Hanley, D., Katzan, I., Mattke, S., Nilsen, D.M., Piquado, T., Skidmore, E.R., Wing, K., Yenokyan, G. (2015). Chronic stroke outcome measures for motor function intervention trials: expert panel recommendations. Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, 8:S163-S169. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.115.002098

Nilsen, D.M., Gillen, G., Arbesman, M. & Lieberman, D. (2015). Evidence connection – Occupational therapy interventions for adults with stroke. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 69, 6905395010. doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2015.695002.

Coker, E., McIsaac, T., & Nilsen, D.M. (2015). Motor imagery modality in expert dancers: an investigation of hip and pelvis kinematics in demi-plié and sauté. Journal of Dance Medicine and Science, 19(2), 63-69. doi.org/10.12678/1089-313X.19.2.63

Nilsen, D. M., Gillen, G., Geller, D., Hreha, K., Osei, E., & Saleem, G. (2015). Effectiveness of interventions to improve occupational performance for those with motor impairments after stroke: An evidence based review. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 69(1), 6901180030p1-6901180030p9. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2015.011965.

Gillen, G., Nilsen, D. M., Attridge, J., Banakos, E., Morgan, M., Winterbottom, L., & York, W. (co-first author) (2015). Effectiveness of interventions to improve occupational performance for those with cognitive impairments after stroke: An evidence based review. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 69(1), 6901180040p1-6901180040p9. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2015.012138.

Nilsen, D. M. & DiRusso, T. (2014). Using mirror therapy in the home environment: a case report. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 68(3), e84 e89. doi:10.5014/ajot.2014.010389

Nilsen, D. M., Gillen, G., Geller, D., Hreha, K., Osei, E., & Saleem, G. (2014). What is the evidence for the effectiveness of interventions to improve occupational performance for those with motor deficits after stroke? [Critically Appraised Topic]. Bethesda, MD: American Occupational Therapy Association, Evidence-Based Practice Project. Available online here.

Gillen, G., Nilsen, D. M., Attridge, J., Banakos, E., Morgan, M., Winterbottom, L., & York, W. (co-first author) (2014) What is the evidence for the effectiveness of interventions to improve occupational performance for those with cognitive impairments after stroke? [Critically Appraised Topic]. Bethesda, MD: American Occupational Therapy Association, Evidence-Based Practice Project. Available online here.

Nobbe, J., Nilsen, D.M, & Gillen, G. (2012). Mental practice is modifiable: changes in perspective maintenance and vividness post-stroke. Journal of Imagery Research in Sport and Physical Activity, 7(1), Article 4, 1-16.

Nilsen, D.M., Gillen, G., Dirusso, T. & Gordon, A. (2012). Effect of imagery perspective on occupational performance after stroke: a randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66, 320-329.

Giron Coker, E., McIsaac, T., & Nilsen D.M. (2012). Effects of kinesthetic vs. visual imagery practice on two technical dance movements: a case series. Journal of Dance Medicine and Science, 16(1), 36-38.

Nilsen, D.M., Gillen, G., & Gordon, A.M. (2010). Use of mental practice to improve upper limb recovery after stroke: a systematic review. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 64, 695-708.

Steenbergen, B., Craje, C., Nilsen, D.M., & Gordon, A.M. (2009). Motor imagery training in hemiplegic cerebral palsy: A potentially useful therapeutic tool for rehabilitation. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 51(9), 690-696.

Nilsen, D.M., Kaminski, T.R., & Gordon, A. M. (2003). The effect of body orientation on a point-to-point movement in healthy elderly persons. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 57, 99-107.

Books

Wolf, T. & Nilsen, D.M. (co-first author) (2015) Occupational therapy practice guidelines for adults with stroke. Bethesda, MD: AOTA Press.

Book Chapters

Nilsen, D. M. & Gillen, G. (in press). Motor Learning and Task-Oriented Approaches In D. Powers Dirette & S. A. Gutman (Eds.). Occupational therapy for physical dysfunction (8th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer, Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins.

Nilsen, D. M. & Gillen, G. (in press). Cerebrovascular accident. In D. Powers Dirette & S. A. Gutman (Eds.). Occupational therapy for physical dysfunction (8th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer, Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins.

Nilsen, D. M. & Gillen, G. (in press). Motor control intervention. In D. Powers Dirette & S. A. Gutman (Eds.). Occupational therapy for physical dysfunction (8th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer, Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins.

Nilsen, D. M. & Gillen, G. (in press). Motor control assessment. In D. Powers Dirette & S. A. Gutman (Eds.). Occupational therapy for physical dysfunction (8th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer, Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins.

Gutman, S.A., & Nilsen, D.M. (in press). Cranial nerve assessment. In D. Powers Dirette & S. A. Gutman (Eds.). Occupational therapy for physical dysfunction (8th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer, Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins.

Gillen, G., & Nilsen, D.M. (2019). Motor function and occupational performance. In Schell, B. & Gillen, G. (Eds.) Willard and Spackman’s Occupational Therapy, Centennial Edition (13th ed.). Wolters Kluwer, Philadelphia, PA.

Nilsen, D.M., & Boisselle, A.K. (2019). Neural basis of adaptation: neuroplasticity and movement sciences. In Grajo, L.C., & Boisselle, A.K. (Eds). Adaptation Through Occupation: Multidimensional Perspectives. (pp. 35-57). Slack Incorporated, Thorofare, NJ.

Gillen, G. & Nilsen, D.M. (2016). Upper extremity function and management. In Gillen, G. (ed.) Stroke rehabilitation: A function based approach (4th ed.). (pp. 424-485). St. Louis: Elsevier Science.

Nilsen, D.M., Kaminski, T.R., & Gordon, A.M. (2003). The effect of body orientation on a point-to-point movement in healthy elderly persons. In M. Corcoran (Ed.)., Geriatric issues in occupational therapy: A compendium of leading research. (pp. 53-65). Bethesda, MD: AOTA Press.

Public Media

Nilsen, D.M. (2018, November/December). Interview for the American Occupational Therapy Association: Choosing Wisely®. “Dawn Nilsen on Occupation-Based Interventions for Clients with a Hemiplegic Shoulder.” https://www.aota.org/publications-news/otp/archive/2018/choosing-wisely-....

Nilsen, D.M. (2017, June). Lehman College, Public Health Minute. “Stroke Rehabilitation." http://wp.lehman.edu/public-health-minute-with-william-latimer/stroke-re... university/

Gillen, G., & Nilsen, D.M. (co-first author) (2015). Optimizing stroke survivors’ quality of life. Today’s Geriatric Medicine: Vintage Voices, 8(3), 34. www.todaysgeriatricmedicine.com. Piece is designed to educate the public and other healthcare professionals about the unique role of occupational therapy in stroke rehabilitation.

Nilsen, D.M., & Geller, D. (2015, April). The role of occupational therapy in stroke rehabilitation. American Occupational Therapy Association. http://www.aota.org/-/media/Corporate/Files/AboutOT/Professionals/Whatis...

Abstracts

Geller, D., Nilsen, D.M., VanLew, S., Bernardo, M., Gillen, G., Bateman, C., Graziano, K., Kadota, L., Swinnerton, P., & Zivari, O. (2016). Home mirror therapy: a randomized control pilot study comparing unimanual and bimanual therapy for improved arm/hand function post-stroke. Abstract for oral research presentation #218 at ACRM Annual Meeting.

Bishop, L., Stein, J., Schoenherr, G.S., Chen, C., Nilsen, D.M., Beer, R., & Helbock, R. (2014). Robot-assisted hand exercise compared with conventional exercise therapy after ischemic stroke: A pilot study. Abstract for poster session presented at the ASNR Annual Meeting, Montreal, Canada.