IRB Number


Date of Award

Spring 4-25-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Becki Cohill

Second Advisor

Susan MacDermott

Third Advisor

Erin Schweir

Medical Subject Headings

Occupational Therapy, Chronic Pain, Pain Management, Virtual Reality


Pain is a complex phenomenon that affects millions every day and is frequently associated with activity restriction and decreases in psycho-social health. Studies have shown that opioids alone cannot eliminate all the difficulties that are associated with chronic pain, demonstrating a dire need to consider safer and more effective alternatives. Furthermore, given the impact of chronic pain on an individual’s ability to perform valued activities, and therefore overall well-being and quality of life, occupational therapy must be considered an essential member of any pain management team. Thus, there may be potential benefits to reviewing the use of virtual reality (VR) in conjunction with occupational therapy services for individuals with chronic pain. The purpose of this capstone project is to determine the appropriate and potential role of VR for pain management within the scope of occupational therapy practice.


Capstone project submitted to the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Occupational Therapy.