Graduation Year


Degree Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Occupational Therapy


Background: Mental health issues and burnout are becoming more common among students in healthcare programs (Dyrbye et al., 2014). As demands placed on healthcare professions continue to increase, there has been an increased interest in researching the practice of mindfulness to promote self-care (Irving et al., 2009). Mindfulness has been defined as “the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment by moment” (Kabat-Zinn, 2003, p. 145). Mindfulness has been shown to decrease stress and anxiety among pre-healthcare college students (Burgstahler & Stenson, 2020). Little research has investigated the impacts of mindfulness on occupational therapy (OT) students specifically. The purpose of this capstone project is to address the evidence gap on the effect that an array of mindfulness strategies may have on perceived stress in OT students at various curricular levels. Research question: Does brief and information education and training in basic mindfulness techniques and strategies impact perceived levels of stress among occupational therapy students? Methods: This study used a quantitative one-group pre- post-test design. Results: A significant difference (p<0.05) was shown from pre- test to post-test scores following the intervention. Conclusion: The results of this study indicated that brief, informal mindfulness training and education designed to be incorporated into daily life can have a significant impact on OT students’ perceived level of stress. Continued research using a mixed-methods approach is recommended to help optimize the intervention based on students’ preferences.

Faculty Mentor

Cheryl Carrico, Ph.D, OT/L

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy

Committee Member

Camille Skubik-Peplaski Ph.D., OTR/L, FAOTA

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy

IRB Approval Number (if applicable)