Graduation Year


Document Type


Degree Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Occupational Therapy


Background: Occupational therapy practitioners who also serve as fieldwork educators are not utilizing the profession's historically distinctive qualities and purpose of occupation-based practice, and that the occupational therapy assistant student needs to be prepared with these skills upon beginning fieldwork.

Purpose: The primary purpose of this capstone is to improve the understanding of occupation-based practice by occupational therapy assistant students through an additional educational module focused on occupation-based principles by their ability to implement an occupation-based practice intervention.

Theoretical Framework: The occupation-based practice module has a knowledge component (look), an activity component (think), and evaluation/simulation component (act) (Skinner, 2014)

Methods: This mixed method design combined qualitative and quantitative data in a research project focused on the use of an occupation-based practice (OBP) module within an occupational therapy assistant program through selection and implementation of occupation-based practice interventions. The qualitative component was a self-rating rubric by subject students on a scale of 1-3 on five occupation-based principles; 3-Mastered principle and applied with this intervention, 2- understand principle did not apply, 1-needs improvement with understanding. The quantitative component was self-reported feedback by subject students in the form of justification, for self-rating. The OBP module was implemented in the first semester of occupational therapy assistant course work. Supplement (S) Group (N=8) subject students completed the four lessons in the occupation-based practice module as well as the existing OTA curriculum and the simulation experience. Non-Supplement (NS) Group (N=8) subject students participated in the existing OTA curriculum and participated in the simulation experience.

Results: Both the Supplement Group and the Non-supplement Group (NS Group) (N=8) completed a self-evaluation of the selection and implementation of the new knowledge regarding occupation-based practice in a scripted actor acute care simulation to provide the research with outcomes. The overall findings were that both groups gave themselves more ratings in the highest category (3-mastery) than any other category with the exception of the Supplement Group on two occupation-based principles. The Non-Supplement Group demonstrated a decreased ability to justify how they used the occupation-based principles during the simulation.

Conclusions: The impact of the occupation-based practice module was improved understanding by the Supplement Group regarding occupation-based principles. The research project supports the implementation of the occupation-based module as a foundational element in the education of occupational therapy practitioners and will be added to the curriculum of the community college’s occupational therapy assistant program.

Faculty Mentor

Colleen M. Schneck

Department Affiliation

Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

Committee Member

Camille Skubik-Peplaski

Department Affiliation

Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

IRB Approval Number (if applicable)