Document Type (Journals)

Original Research


Occupational therapy’s identity is grounded in occupation-centered care. However, evidence suggests external factors in the healthcare system burden practitioners’ time and resources, reducing attention directed toward occupation-centered practice and student learning and transfer of theoretically grounded knowledge. The departure from theory-based practice can threaten the identity and viability of the profession. The Occupation-Centered Intervention Assessment (OCIA) was designed for practitioners or students to self-rate the degree to which interventions are occupation-based or occupation-focused, creating an occupation-centered framework. In this pilot explanatory sequential mixed methods study, Level II fieldwork educators and fieldwork students in Alaska completed OCIA training and utilized the tool. A pre- and post-survey identified attitudes toward theory application, feedback, confidence, developing and understanding occupation-centered perspectives, and the OCIA. Additionally, focus group participants discussed using the OCIA during Level II fieldwork and the impact on development, understanding, and communicating using an occupation-centered perspective. Results of the survey revealed preliminary receptivity to the tool as a communication aid and as a theoretical framework for an occupation-centered perspective. The focus group highlighted the “common language” provided by the tool and drew attention to contextual factors influencing the transfer of knowledge and use of the OCIA in practice. Further research is needed to understand the potential of the OCIA as a resource for facilitating student learning with a grounded, occupation-centered perspective.


Erin Main, OTD, Carolyn Michaud, OTD, Amelia Kellar, OTD, and Kate Wondra, OTD were entry-level doctoral students in the Alaska hybrid pathway at Creighton University during the time of this study.

Vanessa D. Jewell, PhD, OTR/L is an assistant professor and the Vice Chair of Research and Assessment at Creighton University.

Taylor Wienkes, OTD served as a research assistant while completing her occupational therapy doctorate degree in the Regis pathway at Creighton University.

Brenda Coppard, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA is a professor at Creighton University.

Declaration of Interest

The authors report no declarations of interest.

Creative Commons License

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.