Date of Award

Summer 8-22-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Steven M Gerardi, PhD, OTD, MSS, OTR

Second Advisor

Mary Zadnik, ScD, MEd, OTR, Program Director

Medical Subject Headings

Substance-Related Disorders, Mental Health, Substance-Related Disorders Occupational Therapy, Humans


Individuals with substance use disorder (SUD) experience barriers and challenges that impact their daily occupational performance, engagement, well-being, and quality of life. In addition to disrupting and distorting an individual’s unique occupational outcomes, SUDs can limit, replace, and dictate an individual’s daily meaningful activities, habits, routines, and skills that support healthy occupational engagement. Occupational therapy (OT) practitioners have a unique and valuable role in SUDs treatment as they are equipped to identify these barriers and implement strategies for supportive skill development or restoration. Based on the literature review conducted, OT practitioners do not have an OT practice guideline, protocol, or manualized intervention available to guide OT practice when working with clients with SUDs. The purpose of this capstone project is to address this concern and develop an OT guidebook for OT practitioners working with individuals with SUDs using the theoretical framework of the Model of Human Occupation (MOHO). The methodology of this project consists of three phases: (a) the pre-development phase, (b) the development phase, and (c) the review and revision phase. The guidebook consists of five chapters that supply OT practitioners with recommended best-practice methods to implement the OT process while working with individuals in this client population as well as recommendations for other resources available to the community. The development of this capstone project will expand OT scholarship and practice as well as create a foundation to examine the efficacy of OT in mental health and SUD treatment.


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