Date of Award

August 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Joyce M. Engel

Committee Members

Roger O. Smith, Shelley Lund


Developmental Disabilites, Nonverbal, Pain Assessment, Technology


Aims: Development of a new pain assessment for youths with communication challenges. The Guard-Putzer Pain Assessment Domains (gPAD) for the iPad was designed and tested as a more universally accessible way for youths, ages 7-to-12 years, with a developmental disability (DD) to express their private pain experiences through self-report. Methods: A two-phase process developed the design for an app, created an interactive prototype, and tested its face validity and user interface. This work included a review of current assessments and pain apps as well as completed a survey to obtain descriptive data on clinical practicality of the gPAD. Fifteen occupational therapists reviewed the gPAD assessment design and reported their experience. Results: Thirteen respondents agreed to the statement that they would use the gPAD for this populatio. School-based practitioners seemed to identify the most significant need for such a new app. Conclusions: Advancement of this app could mainstream the assessment of pain in youths with DD.