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Individuals with substance use disorder (SUD) experience barriers and challenges that impact their daily occupational performance, engagement, well-being, and quality of life. In addition to disrupting and distorting an individual’s unique occupational outcomes, SUDs can limit, replace, and dictate an individual’s daily meaningful activities, habits, routines, and skills that support healthy occupational engagement. Occupational therapy (OT) practitioners have a unique and valuable role in SUDs treatment as they are equipped to identify these barriers and implement strategies for supportive skill development or restoration. Based on the literature review conducted, OT practitioners do not have an OT practice guideline, protocol, or manualized intervention available to guide OT practice when working with clients with SUDs. The purpose of this capstone project is to address this concern and develop an OT guidebook for OT practitioners working with individuals with SUDs using the theoretical framework of the Model of Human Occupation (MOHO). The methodology of this project consists of three phases: (a) the pre-development phase, (b) the development phase, and (c) the review and revision phase. The guidebook consists of five chapters that supply OT practitioners with recommended best-practice methods to implement the OT process while working with individuals in this client population as well as recommendations for other resources available to the community. The development of this capstone project will expand OT scholarship and practice as well as create a foundation to examine the efficacy of OT in mental health and SUD treatment.

Publication Date



University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences


Occupational Therapy, Substance Use Disorder, Substance Abuse, Substance Dependency, Addiction, Mental Health, Model of Human Occupation, Guidebook Development, Adults, Individuals with Substance Use Disorder

Medical Subject Headings

Substance-Related Disorders, Mental Health, Habits, Occupational Therapy, Humans


Occupational Therapy | Substance Abuse and Addiction


Poster presented at the Virtual OTD Capstone Symposium, held online at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences August 5-11, 2022.

An Occupational Therapy Guidebook for Individuals with Substance Use Disorder

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