Graduation Year


Document Type


Degree Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Occupational Therapy


Background: The Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) provides medical and social services to older adults who meet nursing home level of care but wish to remain in their own homes. Although PACE has been in existence for decades, this program is new to the state of Kentucky.

Purpose: The problem this Capstone project will address is the need for further research related to occupational therapy’s roles and experiences in PACE programs. This capstone will explore the perceptions of occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants working in established PACE programs.

Methods: This study followed a Qualitative Descriptive Approach. Five semi-structured interviews were completed with occupational therapy practitioners working in established PACE programs throughout the United States. Interviews were transcribed verbatim Results. Data was sorted into 28 categories using line by line open coding. Categories were combined and further collapsed into 8 final categories with 4 themes emerging during analysis. Four themes were discovered from the interviews:

• The truest definition of occupational therapy

• The interdisciplinary team model makes PACE unique.

• Pros outweigh the cons.

• Autonomy and flexibility lead to job satisfaction.

Conclusions: Overall, occupational therapists’ experiences and perceptions of PACE tend to be positive. More research is indicated to further explore OT and PACE participant perceptions, as well as OT outcomes in PACE versus other settings

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Julie Duckart

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy

Committee Member

Dr. Dana Howell

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy



I am so appreciative of all the support and encouragement given to me throughout this process by my faculty research advisor Dr. Julie Duckart who has been an encouraging guide at every turn. Your feedback and guidance have helped to make this project possible. I’d also like to say thank you to my committee chair Dr. Dana Howell who has provided me with sound advice and practical feedback along the way. I’d also like to thank all the professors of the EKU OTD program who have challenged and supported me in my time at EKU. A great big thank you to my husband Derrick, and three reasons for living, Bella, Gunner, and Hunter who believed in me, encouraged me and supported me on this journey. I am thankful to my parents Jeff and Katherine as well for always believing in me and reminding me to believe in myself. To my fellow OTD student and best friend Susan, I am so thankful that we embarked on this journey together. Thanks for being my sounding board and partner on this adventure. Most of all, thank you to my study participants, for believing in this project and for being willing to further the knowledge base of our profession.

IRB Approval Number (if applicable)