IRB Number


Date of Award

Spring 4-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Susan MacDermott


Background: The Egyptian Coptic Orthodox (Copt) population in America has grown exponentially due to religious intolerance in Egypt. Many Copts experience feelings of helplessness because of the stark difference in American culture compared to their home culture. Occupational therapy (OT) is a profession that can impact the experience of Copts through participation in meaningful occupations. This qualitative study sought to answer the research question, “what is the current state of occupational engagement for recently immigrated Coptic immigrants?”

Methods: Eighteen participants filled out the 9-question open-ended survey concerning overall perceptions about moving to America. Data was analyzed using thematic analysis.

Findings: The seven overarching themes identified were consistent with the literature about the immigrant experience; participants stated their experience moving was challenging, and overwhelmingly stated that services to ease transition into American lifestyle would have been beneficial.

Conclusion: Findings from this study should allow for OT practitioners (OTPs) to expand knowledge about the impact of immigration for minority groups such as Copts using evidence-based practice, and facilitate the enculturation of Copts by re-establishing daily occupational routines and engaging in education on new cultural norms associated with American culture while keeping ties to Egyptian culture.


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.