Graduation Year


Document Type


Degree Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Occupational Therapy


Executive Summary


Multiple stress-related issues brought on by the pandemic affected healthcare staff, including occupational therapists. Nursing home settings were particularly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important to understand how occupational therapy practitioners in nursing home settings managed stress during the pandemic and how they perceived stress after it passed.


The purpose of this qualitative study was to evaluate occupational therapy practitioners ’perceptions of workplace stressors in one nursing home during the pandemic and to understand how these stressors may have changed post-pandemic.

Theoretical Framework:

The Occupational Adaptation (OA) model was the theoretical framework that served as the foundation for this independent investigation. This serves as the basis for the study since occupational therapy professionals need to respond to their surroundings successfully in order to succeed and keep themselves healthy in dealing with stress due to the pandemic.


A descriptive qualitative design utilized using semi structured interviews to investigate occupational therapy practitioners' views of workplace stressors in a nursing home following the pandemic. The respondents were occupational therapy practitioners who worked in a central valley nursing home facility in California.


Four themes emerged from the data: Life is so Stressful because of COVID-19, Fear of Death, Stressful in the Beginning but it has Become Part of the Norm and Current Protocols in Use because Disease is Morphing.


This study explored the occupational therapy practitioners’ perceptions of workplace stressors in one nursing home showed similar discussions and results with other studies related to stress during the pandemic. As change agents, occupational therapists must prioritize their own health in order to provide patients in need of rehabilitation with optimal treatment and care.

Faculty Mentor

Dana M. Howell, PhD, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy

Committee Member

Shirley P. O'Brien, Ph.D., OTR/L, FAOTA

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy

IRB Approval Number (if applicable)