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The purpose of this qualitative research type capstone project was to explore the strengths and limitations of an occupational therapist assessment toolkit for use with the population of veterans with PTSD who are transitioning into civilian life. OTs lack consistent assessment tools for use with this population, resulting in a lack of inclusion of occupational therapy as a consistent member of the multidisciplinary team (Kerr et al., 2020). Kerr et al. (2020) found that while OT assessments may be mentioned in research regarding veterans with PTSD who are transitioning into civilian life, there was limited or no discussion of the strengths or limitations of the assessments. This qualitative research project involved virtual interviews with six OTs that worked with veterans with PTSD. The results were organized into themes to answer the research questions. Overall themes supporting the strengths of the assessment toolkit were a lack of familiarity with the tools, the client-centered nature of the toolkit, the identification of roles and interests, as well as its ability to be used as a 'foot-in-the-door' with clients. Themes found as a limitation of the toolkit were a preference for informal or semi-structured assessments, the length of time of the assessments, and a lack of assessment of communication skills or depression. The therapists found the role of OT in treating veterans with PTSD who are transitioning into civilian life to be the education on PTSD, promote an understanding of triggers, development of social-emotional wellbeing, and to collaborate with a multidisciplinary team.

Publication Date



University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences

Medical Subject Headings

Veterans, Stress Disorders - Post-Traumatic, Communication, Depression, Occupational Therapy


Clinical Psychology | Mental and Social Health | Occupational Therapy


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

Qualitative Evaluation of Occupational Therapy Assessments in Treating Veterans with PTSD Who are Transitioning into Civilian Life