Pediatric acute care, feeding, therapy with high risk neonates, developmental assessment
Dr. Pineda’s research interests include investigating factors associated with cerebral alterations and adverse neurodevelopmental outcome in high risk newborn infants; specifically, infants born prematurely. Early factors that can impede function and are being investigated include the environment (low stimulation environments as well as higher stimulation environments), stress, pain, medical complications and interventions, parenting, brain injury and prenatal exposures. Dr. Pineda is investigating the differences in language and sound exposure across different NICU room types (open ward compared to NICU private room) and investigating associations with brain structure and outcome. Dr. Pineda also is developing a sensory-based intervention, supported by current evidence, that will be appropriate for parents to deliver to their infants across NICU hospitalization. Appropriate therapeutic interventions with premature infants can serve to reverse the high rates of morbidity in this population. Other research interests include neurobehavioral assessment of preterm infants, neonatal feeding, neonatal positioning, neurodevelopmental outcomes, empowering parents and early intervention services.
Dr. Pineda teaches directed practice research and independent study, in which students support the research progress in the Washington University Neonatal and Developmental Research group and can pose their own research question within ongoing projects. Dr. Pineda also provides course lectures on pediatric content areas in Neuroscience, Health Conditions, Fundamentals of Assessment and Interventions. She is a trainer for those seeking to become certified in the NICU Network Neurobehavioral Scale.
2006: PhD of philosophy in rehabilitation science, University of Florida
1994: MHS in occupational therapy, University of Florida
1992: BHS in occupational therapy, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
Dr. Pineda served in clinical roles at Tampa General Rehabilitation, All Children’s Hospital, Duke University Medical Center and University of Florida Shands Hospital from 1992 through 2006, where she gained expertise with outpatient and inpatient pediatric therapy, including services to fragile infants in the neonatal intensive care unit. The premature birth of her first child in addition to her ongoing interest in learning led her to pursue her PhD to conduct research with premature infants. Her dissertation investigated an educational intervention to promote breastfeeding in very low birth weight infants. Upon graduation with her PhD in 2006, she began working with Dr. Terrie Inder as a part of the Washington University Neonatal and Developmental Research group. She continues to explore factors that can improve the lives of infants born prematurely. Dr. Pineda has also been involved in an initiative to bridge the gap in therapy services following NICU discharge. She is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association and the National Association of Neonatal Therapists.
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