Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith

Associate Professor
Phone: (603) 862-2463
Office: Occupational Therapy, Hewitt Hall Room 119, Durham, NH 03824
Pronouns: She/her/hers

Dr. Sarah L. Smith is an Associate Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of New Hampshire in the College of Health and Human Services. Dr. Smith has over 25 years experience as a pediatric occupational therapist. Dr. Smith practiced in school and outpatient settings. Her teaching and research are rooted in her work with children and families and the need to provide services that not only support individual children but that also prioritize family participation in everyday meaningful activities.

Dr. Smith is the director of the UNH Healthy Families Research Program. Dr. Smith examines the specific factors and processes that promote strong family health, as well as the relationship between everyday family activities and family health in order to inform effective family supports. Dr. Smith's Healthy Families Flourish Program is a parent coaching intervention provided via telehealth to support family activity participation.

Dr. Smith earned the 2021 College of Health and Human Services Excellence in Teaching Award and the 2022 University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center College of Allied Health's 2022 Distinguished OUHSC Doctor of Science Alumni Award.

Courses Taught

  • OT 610: Occupatn, Identity, Disability
  • OT 695: Independent Study
  • OT 710: OT Practice Professional Roles
  • OT 762: OT Eval & Interv for Children
  • OT 762/862: OT Eval & Interv for Children
  • OT 762L: OT Eval & InterforChildren Lab
  • OT 762R: OT Eval & Inter Children-Recit
  • OT 781: Research Methods I
  • OT 782/882: Research Methods II
  • OT 785: Research Methods
  • OT 791: Senior Honors Thesis
  • OT 810: OT Practice Professional Roles
  • OT 862: OT Eval &Intervention Children
  • OT 862R: OT Eval&Intervention Child Rec
  • OT 881: Research Methods I
  • OT 886: Engagement in Research
  • OT 893: Spc Top/OT in Schools


  • D.Sc., Rehabilitation Science, University of Oklahoma
  • B.S., Occupational Therapy, Colorado State University

Research Interests

  • Autism
  • Family
  • Pediatrics/Paediatrics
  • Rehabilitation/Therapy, Occupation/Vocation
  • Telemedicine

Selected Publications

  • Henly, M., Phillips, K. G., Smith, S. L., Kloza, E. M., & Brucker, D. L. (2023). Referral networks for pediatric patients with genetic conditions: The perspective of occupational therapists.. J Genet Couns, 32(5), 982-992. doi:10.1002/jgc4.1706

  • Smith, S. L., Vaquerano, J., Humphreys, B. P., & Aytur, S. A. (2023). Parent Satisfaction With a Telehealth Parent Coaching Intervention to Support Family Participation.. OTJR (Thorofare N J), 43(3), 531-539. doi:10.1177/15394492231164942

  • Rita, C. M., & Smith, S. L. (2022). Preliminary Effectiveness of the Healthy Families Flourish Program for Families With a Child With Autism Spectrum Disorder. In AMERICAN JOURNAL OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY Vol. 76. doi:10.5014/ajot.2022.76S1-PO229

  • Smith, S. L., Humphreys, E., & Aytur, S. (2022). Parent Satisfaction With a Telehealth Coaching Program for Families of Children With Special Health Care Needs. In AMERICAN JOURNAL OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY Vol. 76. doi:10.5014/ajot.2022.76S1-PO77

  • Smith, S., Aytur, S., & Humphreys, E. (2022). Effects of telehealth parent coaching in supporting family participation, cohesion, and adaptability. OTJR Occupation, Participation and Health. doi:10.1177/15394492221083664

  • Smith, S. L., & McQuade, H. B. (2021). Exploring the health of families with a child with autism. AUTISM, 25(5), 1203-1215. doi:10.1177/1362361320986354

  • Belarmino, J. A. S., Smith, S. L., & Jewell, V. D. (2020). Extent of Use and Linkage of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health to Frames of Reference and Interventions in Pediatric Occupational Therapy. Annals of International Occupational Therapy, 3(2), 69-77. doi:10.3928/24761222-20191125-01

  • Watson, M. A., Jewell, V. D., & Smith, S. L. (2018). Journey Interrupted: A Phenomenological Exploration of Miscarriage. The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, 6(3). doi:10.15453/2168-6408.1439

  • Villasenor, R. F., Smith, S. L., & Jewell, V. D. (2018). A systematic review of sound-based intervention programs to improve participation in education for children with sensory processing and integration challenges. JOURNAL OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY SCHOOLS AND EARLY INTERVENTION, 11(2), 172-191. doi:10.1080/19411243.2018.1432444

  • Smith, S. L., DeGrace, B., Ciro, C., Bax, A., Hambrick, A., James, J., & Evans, A. (2017). Exploring families' experiences of health: contributions to a model of family health.. Psychol Health Med, 22(10), 1239-1247. doi:10.1080/13548506.2017.1319069

  • Most Cited Publications