Submission Date


Document Type

Entry Level Capstone

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)

First Mentor

Rachel Hingst, MPH, OTR/L, CPRP

Second Mentor

Gustavo Reinoso, PhD., OTR/L


The capstone project examined the role and requirements of clinical research in occupational therapy (OT) by intersecting the capstone focus areas of clinical practice and research. The overarching goal of the capstone project was to gain hands-on experience and skills associated with the different stages of clinical research, including study design, protocol development, data collection, data analysis, dissemination, program development and evaluation, and funding. The capstone goals and objectives were achieved through my participation in ongoing studies at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland under the mentorship of Rachel Hingst, MPH, OTR/L, CPRP. Rachel Hingst serves as the mental health OT specialist within the Clinical Center and is an associate investigator on studies researching the experience and role of cooking in the health and wellbeing of underserved or at-risk groups. A supplemental data analysis component under the mentorship of Gustavo Reinoso, Ph.D., OTR/L was included in the capstone project to further my understanding of study design from a statistical perspective. Dr. Gustavo Reinoso is a renowned professor and occupational therapist with rich experience in data analysis and statistical methods, including Rasch analysis and assessment tool development. My capstone responsibilities included engaging in clinical OT sessions for clinical trial participants, advancing assigned projects, engaging with the clinical and research teams, and developing clinical scenarios for statistical analysis by future students. My participation as a capstone student at the NIH Clinical Center served to advance the research agenda of the Rehabilitation Medicine Department (RMD), assist in validating cooking as a skilled intervention for OT, and assist future students in the Nova Southeastern University research courses through resources developed.