Graduation Year


Document Type


Degree Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Occupational Therapy


There is limited available data about the level of cultural responsiveness skills in occupational therapy students. The purpose of this capstone project was to ascertain the impact of target specific training in cultural diversity on students’ perception of cultural responsiveness, and on their performance during simulated patient interactions. The overreaching framework for this capstone project was the conceptual model for culturally responsive care. This capstone project followed a one group pretest and post-test quasi-experimental design. Participants consisted of second-year students enrolled in an entry level master occupational therapy program at a large urban public university. The pre and post-test self-assessment consisted of a survey modeled after the Cultural Competence Assessment Instrument (CCAI). Participants were also evaluated by faculty as part of a regularly scheduled learning activity with standard patients. A total of seven (n=7) students completed both the pre and post-test. t test paired two sample for means revealed an overall score of p = 0.002 indicating that self-learning modules positively impacted the students self-perception of culturally responsive skills. Students’ perception of culturally responsive skills differed from faculty rating of their performance during simulated patient interactions. Results support the use of targeted specific education in culture and diversity as a mean to improve culturally responsive skills. Stressing the value of culturally responsive skills in addition to communication skills throughout foundational and clinical courses in occupational therapy programs, could lead to increased awareness and proficiency that will transfer into therapeutic interventions with clients.

Faculty Mentor

Geela Spira, PhD, OTR/L

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy

Committee Member

Susan Skees Hermes, OTD, MS, OTR/L

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy

IRB Approval Number (if applicable)