Susan de Klerk - South Africa - Information Officer

1998: Bachelors of Occupational Therapy, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
2007: Post graduate Diploma in Hand Therapy, University of Pretoria, South Africa
2014: Master of Occupational Therapy, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
PhD in Occupational Therapy candidate, Stellenbosch University, South Africa (submitted for examination August 2022)

Certification and Memberships
1999 to present: Member of the South African Society of Hand Therapists
2014 to present: Member of the Occupational Therapy Association of South Africa

Work Experience
I am occupational therapy senior lecturer and researcher with expertise in occupational therapy for the upper limb (Hand Therapy). I have a special interest in measurement and the International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health (ICF). Since the start of my career I have worked in the public sector in specialist hand units in both the UK and South Africa. The South African context, the nature of injuries unique to the context and the thorough consideration and measurement of all factors that impacts hand health is a research priority. I am currently embarking on PhD studies towards establishing the validity of the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) Questionnaire toward improve clinical utility in the Western Cape of South Africa. In addition to my own research I am module chair for the specialisation: Hand Therapy of the Master of Occupational Therapy at Stellenbosch University. I have a number of current and graduate Master students within this field

Professional Activities
I was a member of the Occupational therapy Association of South Africa Education Committee from 2013 – 2015. I serve on the Standardised assessment task team of the Education Committee of the Professional Board of Occupational Therapy and Medical orthotics / Prosthetics of the Health Professions Council of South Africa since 2015. I have been involved in the South African Society of Hand Therapist for many years (since 1999 to present) in a variety of roles: Chairperson of the Western Cape Branch (2008 – 2009), Member of the National Executive Committee (Treasurer, 2008 – 2009), and Treasurer of the Western Cape Branch (2006 -2007). I am a reviewer for the South African Journal of Occupational Therapy, the World federation for Occupational therapy Bulletin, the Irish Journal of Occupational Therapy, Hand Therapy and Physiotherapy Research International.

Twenty publications in peer reviewed journals.
I am regularly invited to contribute to Continued Professional Development opportunities within this field and have presented at national conferences of the Occupational Therapy Association of South Africa (OTASA) and the South African Society of Surgery to the Hand (SASSH). Internationally, I have presented on my various research projects at World Federation of Occupational Therapy (WFOT), Occupational Therapy Africa Regional Group (OTARG) and IFSHT conferences. I have been on abstract review and/or scientific committees for OTASA, WFOT, IFSHT and OTARG.

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