Date of Award
Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)
Susan MacDermott, OTD, OTR/L, Doctoral Coordinator
Becki Cohill, OTD, OTR/L, Doctoral Coordinator
Erin Schwier, EdD, OTD, OTR/L, Program Director
Medical Subject Headings
Occupational Therapy, Human Trafficking, Survivors, Mental Health, Compassion Fatigue
Victims of human trafficking are exposed to traumatic experiences that affect their physical, psychological, cognitive, and social health. As survivors enter the healing stage and progressed in their journey to community reintegration, the complex traumatic experiences may affect their independence with occupational tasks.
This capstone explored the areas where occupational therapy can assist with community reintegration for survivors of human trafficking. Interviews were conducted through casual conversation using the modified Canadian Occupational Therapy Measure, (COPM) as guidance, and the Quality of Life Scale (QOLS) was used to gather baseline data.
Survivors identified priorities of their everyday living and the barriers to them achieving their goals: education, vocation, transportation, health, leisure, and healthy relationships. The essential staff working with clients identified the same concerns as clients and concerns for the staff’s emotional and cognitive health due to emotional exposure to client trauma.
A program was developed to guide survivors in vocation, education, physical health, and emotional health to promote independence and autonomy. A separate program was developed to guide staff into emotionally supportive conversations and encourage reflective program meetings to reduce the risk of compassion fatigue.
Huynh, J. (2020). Occupational Therapy’s Role in Assisting with Community Reintegration for Survivors of Human Trafficking. [Doctoral project, University of St Augustine for Health Sciences]. SOAR @ USA: Student Capstone Projects Collection. https://doi.org/10.46409/sr.ARNT3930