Prof Nicola Ann Plastow
BSc (OT), PGCert (Teaching and Learning in Higher Education), MSc, PhD (Clinical Sciences)
Tel: 021 938 9038
Nicola Plastow is an Associate Professor and Undergraduate Programme Coordinator in the Division of Occupational Therapy. As a Stellenbosch University Teaching Fellow, Nicola is involved in student education from first-year undergraduate through to PhD levels of study. At Stellenbosch University her teaching focusses primarily on occupational therapy and mental health across the lifespan, conceptual frameworks informing practice, and research methods. She is co-convenor of the Psychosocial Specialisation in the Structured Master's programme, and is co-editor of the 5th edition of the international textbook Creek's Occupational Therapy and Mental Health.
Her research focusses on mental well-being across the lifespan, using a wide range of qualitative, quantitative and mixed methodologies. She currently holds an NRF Young Researcher award to investigate the assessment of driving and community mobility in Africa, which is linked to her interest in identity and well-being in later life. She supervises post-graduate students investigating the effectiveness of occupational therapy interventions in a wide range of practice areas. Her current students are investigating 1) the development of a motor skills intervention program for children living in a rural low-resource setting (Complex Intervention), 2) the effect of an ADL education manual on the occupational performance of people with spinal cord injury in Gaza, Palestine (RCT) and 3) the effect of rhythmic movement training (RMTi) to improve occupational performance (RCT) of children with an unintegrated fear paralysis reflex.
Within the community, Nicola advocates for high quality mental health services for adults and older adults. She is working to develop health care professional's skills in improving their services. Her work includes advanced dementia care training for care home staff. She is also a founding member of the Occupational Therapy for Older People Interest Group.