Document Type (Journals)

Original Research


This scoping review examined outcomes of capstones in relation to entry-level doctoral education programs within the health professions. Aims of the study included mapping existing evidence related to capstone across entry-level clinical doctorates; investigating the purpose of capstones within health professions education; and identifying future research initiatives. Researchers applied and reported via the PRISMA Extension for Scoping Reviews systematic approach, and Best Evidence Medical Education global scale. The study indicated a gap in existing literature. Few health professions described requirements for capstones as part of an entry-level doctorate. Reviewed articles offered no consistent definition, intent, process, or outcome for capstones. The majority of publications documented Kirkpatrick Level 2a educational outcomes, modification of learner attitudes and perceptions. No publications documented Level 3, 4a, or 4b educational outcomes reporting student behavioral change, change in organizational practice, or direct improvement to the health and well-being of patients or clients. The researchers recommend additional evidence-based educational research to expand the body of evidence related to the capstone.


Dr. Nancey E. Krusen, PhD, OTR/L is founding program director for a developing clinical doctorate program within the Division of Occupational Therapy at University of Nebraska Medical Center in the US. She received her PhD in occupational therapy from Texas Woman’s University. Her research interests include teaching and learning, qualitative methods of inquiry, and constructs of the Occupational Adaptation theoretical frame of reference. She currently serves in national organizations for accreditation and occupational therapy academic education, as well as the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

Anne Murphy-Hagan, OTD, OTR/L completed a Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis. Her research interests include clinical supervision practices, professional identity, and cultural and linguistically appropriate services in healthcare.

Sarah Foidel, OTD, OTR/L is an assistant professor at Pacific University. Her current research interests include: Delirium management, interprofessional teaching, capstone process, identity development of those living with acquired brain injury, and developing strength-based care planning for people with dementia.

Declaration of Interest

The authors report no declarations of interest.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.