Submission Date


Document Type

Entry Level Capstone

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)

First Mentor

Stephanie Wright, MOT, OTR/L


The aggregate number of women who have either concluded BC treatment or are undergoing BC treatment totaled approximately 3.8 million women in January 2022 (, 2022). Incredible advances have been made in the pharmacological, technological, and surgical treatments of cancer along with a better understanding of the pathophysiology of cancer, but the statistics demonstrate a growing population of individuals with cancer and individuals surviving cancer (Bluethmann, 2016). The coinciding aging of the baby boomer generation results in a population of cancer survivors that demands more supply of services than were previously needed (Bluethmann, 2016). The present size of the population and the continued projected growth beg the question of the occupational therapy (OT) profession, “Are OT practitioners (OTPs) addressing this population?”.

OT services have not traditionally been included in cancer care despite being well-equipped to address the cognitive, emotional, and physical effects of cancer and its treatment during treatment cycles and into survivorship (Polo & Smith, 2017). Advocacy and education are critical pillars to taking hold of a role in cancer care. The capstone project aimed to distinguish the role of OTPs in the cancer care continuum through (1) a formal needs assessment to better understand the BC experience, (2) the creation and distribution of educational resources to physicians, patients, and OTPs, and (3) drafting of a preliminary screening tool to increase referrals by physicians to OT services.

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