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Personal profile


Professor Carolyn Unsworth received her BAppSci(OccTher) (Bachelor of Occupational Therapy) (1989) and PhD (1994) from La Trobe University Australia, and is a registered occupational therapist in the USA (OTR) since (1994).  

Dr Unsworth is an internationally respected researcher and educator, having provided undergraduate and post-graduate seminars, lectures and courses in Australia, USA, UK, Sweden and Singaopre in her specialty areas of community transport mobility and driving, cognitive and perceptual problems following acquired brain damage, and evidence-based practice.  Carolyn is currently Professor of Occupational Therapy at Central Queensland University and holds Adjunct Professorial appointments at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Jönköping University, Sweden, and Curtin University in Perth, Australia.  She also held the position of Visiting Professor at London South Bank University for the term 2010- 2011.  

Carolyn has authored over 120 journal articles and book chapters as well as developing two published assessments.  She has presented over 100 conference papers and keynote presentations internationally. Carolyn currently serves on the editorial boards of the British Journal of Occupational Therapy and Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, and was on the Editorial Board of the American Journal of Occupational Therapy for eight years.  She has served as guest editor for Special Issues on Community Mobility for the Australian Occupational Therapy Journal (2012) and British Journal of Occupational Therapy (2015).

Carolyn’s research interests focus on the occupation of community transport mobility.  This includes her work on driver assessment and rehabilitation, and scooter and powered wheelchair use and access on public transport. Carolyn also researches and publishes in the related fields of clinical reasoning and decision making, outcomes measurement research, rehabilitation following acquired brain injury and evidence-based practice.  Her research has included the development of two published assessments.  The first was published by LaTrobe University in 2004 (with further editions in 2007 and 2014) and is a global outcome measure called the AusTOMs-OT (Australian Therapy Outcome Measures for Occupational Therapy), which is used internationally and has been translated into Swedish and Arabic. The second assessment was published by the American Occupational Therapy Association in 2011 and is a standardised off-road assessment that occupational therapy driver assessors can use with clients called the OT-DORA (Occupational therapy- Driver Off-Road Assessment).


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Research area keywords

  • Community transport mobility
  • Clinical reasoning and recision making
  • Outcomes measurement research
  • Brain injury rehabilitation
  • Occupational Therapy

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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