IRB Number


Date of Award

Spring 4-19-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Pamela A. Kasyan-Howe, OTD, OTR/L

Second Advisor

Kristin J. Domville, Dr.OT, OTR/L

Medical Subject Headings

Firefighters; Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic, Stress, Anxiety, Burnout, Psychological; Occupational Therapy; Program Development, Research


Firefighters are at a high risk of experiencing posttraumatic stress, anxiety, depression (Teoh et al., 2019), suicidality, substance abuse (Bing-Canar et al., 2019), and burnout (Teoh et al., 2019). Firefighters are regularly exposed to traumatic events on calls which results in their decreased mental health; and associated decreased participation in meaningful occupations, routines, and roles (Edgelow & Cramm, 2020; Edgelow et al., 2021; Wittwer et al., 2021). This project contains both research and a program. The purpose of this research was to understand how firefighter demographics interact with interrupted occupations, routines, and roles and at what frequency when faced with work-related psychological trauma and stress (Edgelow et al., 2021; Gulliver et al., 2021; Pennington et al., 2022). There were relationships between the years of firefighter experience as well as marital status with participation in occupations, routine changes, and role identification. The next step for research is to further study demographic interactions with stress and functional impairment and with more nuance in a qualitative, mixed methods, and longitudinal study. The purpose of this program was to educate firefighters on ways to re-engage in interrupted occupations, routines, and roles to reduce the negative effects of work-related psychological trauma (Edgelow & Cramm, 2020; Torchalla et al., 2019). Participants found the workshop interesting, useful, and informative, especially the mental health statistics for firefighters. Future implications for this program are to implement it at every level of the career, deliver education to loved ones, and advocate to administration, unions, and local council members.


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.