Document Type (Journals)

Original Research


Entry-level occupational therapy doctorate (OTD) programs are required to gather program evaluation data regarding the doctoral capstone for accreditation purposes. This study aims to describe the processes used by a sample of OTD programs to gather doctoral capstone outcome data and to determine the type of data collected in order to understand the perspectives regarding doctoral capstone outcomes by doctoral capstone coordinators (DCCs) within the United States. The investigators used purposeful sampling to recruit DCCs at accredited entry-level OTD programs in the United States. The most common outcome data collected included information about the doctoral capstone experience from students, student performance outcomes, employment and scholarship outcomes from alumni and employers, and various outcomes from site/expert/faculty mentors. Results highlight the need to disseminate doctoral capstone outcomes as few participants in this study used the data they were collecting outside of their program. By sharing and reporting outcomes of the doctoral capstone, OTD programs, and the profession can collectively benefit. Development of common outcomes, collected across programs, can help to provide data large enough to draw meaningful conclusions regarding the value of the doctoral capstone in occupational therapy education and in strengthening the knowledge of the profession among the public.


Andrew Rivera, OTD, OTR/L, LMT, AEP, CLIPP, CEIM is Assistant Professor & Doctoral Capstone Coordinator at Huntington University’s Doctoral Program in Occupational Therapy in Fort Wayne, Indiana. His clinical experience includes injury prevention consulting and adult inpatient rehabilitation. His research interests include doctoral capstones, work performance, and health & wellness.

Theresa Delbert, OTD, OTR/L is an Assistant Professor and Capstone Coordinator for the entry-level OTD program at Chatham University. Her clinical experience spans the healthcare continuum with adults and children, including environments of rehabilitation, long-term care, home care, early intervention, and pediatric outpatient and school based.

Whitney Lucas Molitor, PhD, OTD, OTR/L, BCG is Assistant Professor and Capstone Director at the University of South Dakota. Her teaching responsibilities are in adult physical rehabilitation assessment and intervention, occupational performance for adults, and community-based practice. Research interests include health promotion, cultural implications on occupational performance, and interprofessional education.

Anne Kiraly-Alvarez, OTD, OTR/L, SCSS is Associate Professor and Director of Capstone Development in the Occupational Therapy Program at Midwestern University in Downers Grove, IL. Her research interests include doctoral capstones, life skills interventions for adolescents & young adults with intellectual and developmental disability, and exploring cultural influences on occupation.

Danielle Friberg, OTD, OTR/L, DipACLM is Assistant Professor and Capstone Coordinator in the OTD program at Keck Graduate Institute in Claremont, CA. Her research interests include doctoral capstones, use of lifestyle medicine interventions in occupational therapy, occupational therapy’s role in maternal health, and early identification and treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders.

Anna Domina, OTD, OTR/L is the Vice Chair of Education and Clinical Practice and an Associate 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 12 years.

Autumn Clegg, Ed.D., OTR is an Associate Professor and serves as the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator and Doctoral Capstone Coordinator at UT Health San Antonio. She has clinical experience in adult rehabilitation and expertise working with patients with ALS. Her research interests include doctoral capstones, clinical education, ALS, and community-based research.

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.