Graduation Year

2019

Degree Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)

Department

Occupational Therapy

Abstract

Background: As the aging population continues to grow, it is necessary to identify the most up to date and appropriate Evidenced Based Practice (EBP) treatment methods to ensure quality of life for adults in long term care settings. The rapid increase of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease with this population treated in skilled nursing facilities impacts understanding of and continued competency for occupational therapy practitioners in effectively evaluate and treat clients with cognitive deficits.

Purpose: To identify the frequency of use of standardized cognitive assessments in evaluation and treatment in long-term care facilities and skilled nursing facilities and to identify which cognitive assessments are most frequently utilized.

Theoretical Framework: The model of human occupation (MOHO) utilizes an individual’s interests as the main focus during research as well as within the evaluation/treatment being provided.

Methods: An electronic survey was created to determine the use of evidence-based approaches in which occupational therapy practitioners utilize in daily practice for evaluation and intervention and how they determine appropriate treatment approaches. The survey was posted on two social media sites and completed voluntarily.

Results: This survey yielded a useable response of 87%. It was determined that 28% of participants complete standardized assessments between 26%-75% of the time. The most commonly utilized and familiar assessment was the Mini-Mental State Examination. It was determined that most occupational therapy practitioners participate in continuing education on an annual basis and that time was the greatest contributing factor as to why occupational therapy practitioners do not participate in continuing education more frequently about EBP for long term care interventions. Almost half of participants (49%) suggest that reimbursement does not impact or influence their role in the evaluation or treatment of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and/or dementia.

Conclusions: Occupational therapy practitioners identify time as the barrier that limits them from providing up-to-date evidence-based practice interventions for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and/or dementia in the long-term care setting. The use of standardized assessments is frequent; however, it is undetermined if the results of cognitive assessments guide treatment/intervention.

Faculty Mentor

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

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy

Committee Member

Leah Simpkins, OTD, OTR/L, CPAM

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy

IRB Approval Number (if applicable)

2107

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