Research Article
Issue Date: March/April 2021
Published Online: February 22, 2021
Updated: February 22, 2021
Efficacy of an Intervention to Teach Zippering: A Two-Group Control Study
Author Affiliations
  • Fern Silverman, EdD, OTR/L, is Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, Salus University, Elkins Park, PA; fsilverman@salus.edu
  • Carrie Knight, PhD, CCC-SLP, SLP (C), is Assistant Professor, Department of Speech-Language Pathology, Louisiana Tech University, Ruston.
  • Anna Grasso, MS, OTR/L, CAPS, is Academic Fieldwork Coordinator and Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, Salus University, Elkins Park, PA.
Article Information
Complementary/Alternative Approaches / Education of OTs and OTAs / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability / School-Based Practice / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 22, 2021
Efficacy of an Intervention to Teach Zippering: A Two-Group Control Study
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, February 2021, Vol. 75, 7502205010. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2021.043190
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, February 2021, Vol. 75, 7502205010. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2021.043190
Abstract

Importance: Engaging and pulling up a zipper is a functional skill needed by young children.

Objective: To compare the efficacy of a standard zippering teaching vest presented with general verbal prompts to a modified zippering teaching vest presented with a related story and vocabulary among typically developing preschoolers.

Design: An experimental, two-group, pre–post design.

Setting: A local preschool.

Participants: Fifty preschoolers ages 3 yr, 6 mo to 4 yr, 11 mo were recruited.

Intervention: Eligible children received three zippering practice sessions from occupational therapy and speech-language pathology graduate students supervised by faculty; either a standard (control group) or modified (comparison group) zippering teaching vest was used.

Outcomes and Measures: Individual sessions were video recorded. We coded data using a score of 2, 1, or 0, indicating degree of success through seven zippering steps. Using IBM SPSS Statistics (Version 26) for analysis, we conducted independent t tests to compare measures between the two groups.

Results: Each cohort consisted of 14 preschoolers (N = 28); 252 separate zippering trials were analyzed. Pretrial zippering ability demonstrated no initial differences. Results indicate that both groups advanced their skills with added practice; however, the comparison group performed statistically significantly better than the control group, beginning with the second set of interventions.

Conclusions and Relevance: Beginning with a second exposure to a novel instructional method, preschoolers increased their success by completing more of the seven identified steps of zippering than those receiving traditional input. This study demonstrates the ability of occupational therapy–speech-language pathology partnerships to create innovative treatments that facilitate occupationally based skill acquisition.

What This Article Adds: This article adds evidence supporting the use of a modified practice zippering vest with added visual and language cues to teach zippering skills to occupational therapy clients.