Examining psychosocial performance components of function addressed by Occupational Therapists in physical disabilities practice

Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor's Name

Pamela Shaffner

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Patricia Scott

Third Advisor's Name

Paulette Johnson

Date of Defense



This study examined the perceived value and frequency of assessment and intervention of psychosocial components by occupational therapists in physical disabilities practice. Surveys were mailed to 300 occupational therapists randomly selected from the American Occupational Therapy Association Physical Disabilities Special Interest Section. Data from 119 respondents was used for analysis. Findings showed that the majority of occupational therapists consider it moderately or very important to assess psychosocial components. Psychosocial components are assessed sometimes to most of the time. Standardized measures for assessment are used by 5% of occupational therapists while 95% use informal methods (interview or observation). Most occupational therapists do not provide intervention on a regular basis. It is recommended that occupational therapists practicing in physical disabilities use more formal methods of assessment of psychosocial components and receive training in specific interventions for psychosocial components in physical disabilities.



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