Date of Award

Summer 8-7-2023

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


People with cancer experience a variety of physical, cognitive, and psychosocial impacts that affect their quality of life, occupational performance, and occupational engagement. Occupational therapy (OT) practitioners are well-equipped to address these impacts, however, OT is an underused service in the cancer population, resulting in a limited amount of literature addressing OT interventions in cancer care. OT interventions in the literature are focused on addressing an individual’s physical client factors. The focus on physical client factors is causing people with cancer to report that their psychosocial client factors are not being addressed. The literature demonstrates that OT practitioners do not have clear OT guidelines within the literature on how to address psychosocial client factors in their clients with cancer. The purpose of this capstone project was to create an OT guidebook to address psychosocial client factors for people with cancer. An OT guidebook was developed to educate OT practitioners on the role and scope of OT in the cancer population. The guidebook consists of four chapters that provide various assessments/screening tools, the goal setting process, interventions to address the identified psychosocial client factors of spirituality, mood, body-image, self-esteem, and cognition, a case example, and additional resources for OT practitioners and their clients. The capstone project document consists of five chapters that address the background, literature review, methodology for developing the guidebook, results, and the discussion. This capstone project will broaden the role of OT in the cancer population by providing OT practitioners with the guidance to address psychosocial client factors which will enhance the occupational engagement, occupational performance, and quality of life for people with cancer.


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.

Cited References