Graduation Year


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 Schneck, ScD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy

Committee Member

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

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy

IRB Approval Number (if applicable)