Date of Award

Fall 12-20-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Susan MacDermott

Second Advisor

Becki Cohill

Third Advisor

Erin Schwier

Medical Subject Headings

Occupational Therapy, Human Trafficking, Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic, Adult Survivors of Child Adverse Events, Independent Living, Community Integration


Human trafficking involves sex trafficking, labor trafficking, and trafficking of children. The needs of survivors of human trafficking are widespread due to the traumatic experiences they face. Concerns that may arise include decreased participation in meaningful activities in an individual's life, possibly due to anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, memory loss, posttraumatic stress disorder, and social isolation. Individuals who have been subjected to human trafficking often experience occupational deprivation and occupational therapy has yet to establish its role in the recovery process for survivors. This capstone project consists of the process towards the development of an occupation-based, trauma-informed, evidence-based, and survivor-centered program that focuses on facilitating community integration and independent living skills for survivors of human trafficking.


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.

A poster presentation of this project is also available as:

Mariano, M. (2019). The Role of Occupational Therapy for Survivors of Human Trafficking. Poster session presented at the University of St. Augustine Campus Research Day, December 13, 2019 in San Marcos, CA.