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This capstone project focused on improving belonging through occupation in individuals within the substance use disorder population. Based on site-based needs assessment findings and informed by the Recovery Model and the Doing, Being, Belonging, and Becoming framework, the Elevate 4-week pilot program was created. The Elevate program successfully demonstrated the feasibility of improving belonging through occupations, as evidenced by changes in pre and post-program client questionnaire scores. The client’s self-report scores in sense of belonging, satisfaction of belonging, and connection to housemates and staff demonstrated noticeable improvement. While the Elevate program demonstrated noticeable improvement in participants’ sense of belonging, satisfaction with belonging, and feelings of connection to house members and staff, it should be noted that this was a pilot program that occurred at one facility with a limited number of participants, and as this was not a research study, information gathered cannot be generalized on a population level. While these limitations existed in this program, there is still value in further research on improving belonging in individuals within the SUD population and in the continued implementation of this program.

Publication Date



University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences


Occupations, Substance-related disorders, Belonging

Medical Subject Headings

Occupational Therapy, Substance-Related Disorders, Personal Satisfaction, Needs Assessment, Pilot Projects


Occupational Therapy | Psychiatry and Psychology | Substance Abuse and Addiction


Poster presented at the Virtual OTD Capstone Symposium, held online at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences April 12-14, 2022.

Improving Belonging Through Occupation in Individuals Within the Substance Use Disorder Population