Graduation Year


Document Type


Degree Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Occupational Therapy


Background: The United States population is aging due to advances in healthcare and the aging of the “baby boomers generation” and the rate of aging is set to be the next public health challenge (Quarterman, 2017). Purpose: To address the unique nature of providing skilled therapy services in rural communities. To gain insight into the recruitment and retention of occupational therapists to rural communities. Theoretical Framework: The Model of Human Occupation (MOHO) (Kielhofner,2008) theory explains how occupations motivate participants in their environments supported by habits and roles in which they engage. Methods: Quantitative design using a descriptive method research approach for understanding the reasons occupational therapists choose to work in rural communities by identifying meaningful concrete relations to describe the original experience (Taylor, 2017). Results: A total of 151 therapists completed the online survey in full or in part through Google forms. The participants worked in a variety of rural community settings and were well-educated therapists. Conclusions: The findings of this research gives insight into the unique needs of rural occupational therapy practitioners. Rural practice has been described as a specialty practice requiring a great deal of knowledge on a variety of patient conditions and patient ages.

Faculty Mentor

Leah Simpkins, OTD, OTR/L

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy

Committee Member

Renee Causey-Upton, PhD, OTD, OTR/L

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy

IRB Approval Number (if applicable)