Lecturer, Occupational Therapy
School of Allied Health Science and Practice
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
Karen Adams-Leask has a strong interests in clinical research especially in regards to building on evidence and translating theory into mental health. This is evident in her recent research project focusing on the use of sensory modulation in managing mental health distress. Karen Adams-Leask is committed to multi-disciplinary approaches to improving health care and promoting least restrictive practices (ie the reliance on seclusion and restrain, and medication, to manage mental health distress). Her clinical experience extends into the UK where Karen Adams-Leask worked in a high secure forensic hospital while undertaken her Masters Thesis on exploring the use of meaningful time in a forensic addictive behaviour unit. This resulted in subsequent conference presentations and publications. She has been recognised for her developments in occupational therapy mental health and was rewarded with a Significant Contribution to the Profession Award by the professional association Occupational Therapy Australia in 2015.
Date Position Institution name 2021 Lecturer Occupational Therapy University of Adelaide 2015 - 2020 Visiting Lecturer, workshop facilitator & assessor University of South Australia 2010 Principal Occupational Therapist (AHP4) Central Adelaide Local Health Network 2005 - 2009 Principal Occupational Therapist/Team Leader (PO4) Central Northern Adelaide Health Service 2003 - 2005 Practice Development Occupational Therapist (Head 3) BROADMOOR HOSPITAL 2002 - 2003 Acting Head 3 Occupational Therapist Broadmoor Hospital 2000 - 2002 Senior 1 Occupational Therapist Farnham Hospital 2000 - 2000 Senior Occupational Therapist Farnham Hospital 1999 - 1999 Senior Occupational Therapist Westways Resource Centre 1997 - 1999 Senior Occupational Therapist Royal Adelaide Hospital 1995 - 1997 Occupational Therapist / Case Manager Commonwealth Rehabilitation Service 1995 - 1995 Occupational Therapist / Case Manager Commonwealth Rehabilitation Service
Awards and Achievements
Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount 2015 Award 2015 OT Aus Back Centre Significant Contribution to the Profession Award. OT Aus Back Centre Australia — 2008 Award 2008 SA Health Contribution to the Workforce Health and Well-being. Allied Health Graduate Program. SA Health Australia —
Date Institution name Country Title 2000 - 2003 Brunel University London United Kingdom Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (with distinction) 1991 - 1994 University of South Australia Australia Bachelor of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy
Year Citation 2018 Adams-Leask, K., Varona, L., Dua, C., Baldock, M., Gerace, A., & Muir-Cochrane, E. (2018). The benefits of sensory modulation on levels of distress for consumers in a mental health emergency setting. Australasian Psychiatry, 26(5), 514-519.
DOI Scopus5 WoS5 Europe PMC1
2003 Helbig, K., & McKay, E. (2003). An Exploration of Addictive Behaviours from an Occupational Perspective. Journal of Occupational Science, 10(3), 140-145.
Research and Grants
2019 QI Briefing. Office of the Chief Psychiatrist. $40,000. Development of a blended training package on Sensory Approaches (MDT) and Sensory Modulation (OT).
2015 Business Case & RAH Ethics Committee. CALHN funded 1FTE OT for 12 months. Pilot Study of the benefits of sensory modulation in the reduction of seclusion and restraint and challenging behaviours within a mental health assessment unit.
2003 Research grant AOTMH, UK (800 pounds). Broadmoor Hospital Ethics Committee. The relationship between participation in activities, quality of life and health amongst male patients in a high secure forensic addictive behaviours unit.
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