Document Type (Journals)

Original Research


The purpose of the study was to assess the impact of an international doctoral capstone on occupational therapy clinicians’ current practice. The study used a cross-sectional descriptive online survey design with qualitative elements with 26 occupational therapy graduates. All participants identified as female and the majority were 25-34 years old. Participants reported that the international doctorate capstone experience positively impacted their cultural competence and professional growth. Qualitative outcomes supported these findings through three themes on culture, building rapport with patients, and professional growth. This study suggests that an international doctoral capstone experience is an important way for occupational therapy students to be prepared to become culturally competent clinicians and advance their professional skills. Limitations of the study included a convenience sample of occupational therapy alumni who graduated from Creighton University and using a non-validated survey instrument. Future studies need to use a representative sample and examine the cultural competence and professional growth of occupational therapy students who did not complete an international capstone project.


Sarbinaz Bekmuratova, PhD, MS, is an assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at Creighton University. She teaches research methodology, health policy, and public health courses. Her research interests are in human trafficking, violence against women, minority and vulnerable populations, health services, and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Lisa Bagby, OTD, OTR/L, MHA, is an assistant professor of occupational therapy in the department of Health Human Function and Rehabilitation Sciences in the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Prior to her appointment at GWU, Lisa served as the director of clinical education and assistant professor at Creighton University.

Anna Domina, OTD, OTR/L, is the Vice Chair of Education and Clinical Practice and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. She serves as the Doctoral Capstone Coordinator and an Academic Clinical Education Coordinator. She has served as a faculty member for 11 years.

Angela Patterson, OTD, OTR/L, FNAP, assistant professor, Department of Occupational Therapy at Creighton University, is the Director of the international Master of Science for Rehabilitation and Occupational Therapy programs. Her role is focused on global healthcare and interprofessional education. Dr. Patterson’s scholarship is focused in global practice and interprofessional collaboration.

Keli Mu, PhD, OTR/L is Associate Dean of International Relations of School of Pharmacy and Health Professions at Creighton University. He also serves as Chair of the Occupational Therapy Department. Dr. Mu is passionate about international collaborations and has published extensively on OT education in the international community and cross-cultural studies.

Declaration of Interest

The authors received Creighton University Teaching and Learning Center funding to support this research.

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.