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BACKGROUND: Breast cancer survivors (BCS) suffer from treatment side effects that adversely impact occupation. Occupational therapy (OT) plays a role in the treatment of BCS, however, the literature has not clearly defined the role of OT with this population.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this capstone project was to conduct a scoping review of the literature to clearly define the role of OT in addressing the occupational needs of BCS.

METHODS: The scoping review methodology was based upon the 5-stage framework outlined by Arksey and O’Malley (2005). The EBSCOhost search engine was utilized for access to CINAHL Complete, MEDLINE, and OpenDissertation electronic databases. The final inclusion was 34 articles. The search results were recorded via PRISMA diagram. Data was extracted via summary table.

RESULTS: The majority of intervention implementation included education and application of compensatory strategies, adapting new lifestyle habits, and physical exercise. Additionally, the majority of the interventions provided educational material and applicable activities to address the physical, cognitive, and emotional dysfunction experienced during breast cancer survivorship.

CONCLUSION: The current interventions being implemented by occupational therapy practitioners address a limited range of occupational deficits within breast cancer survivorship. Due to the limitations of interventions and barriers being addressed, BCS faced with specific areas of occupational dysfunction are left untreated.

Publication Date

Summer 8-12-2021


University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences

Medical Subject Headings

Occupational Therapy, Cancer Survivors, Breast, Lifestyle, Habits, Occupations, Review


Mental and Social Health | Occupational Therapy | Oncology


Poster presented at the Summer 2021 Virtual OTD Capstone Symposium at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences held online on August 12, 2021.

A Scoping Review on the Role of Occupational Therapy with Breast Cancer Survivors