Occupational Therapy Program Student Theses, Dissertations and Capstones

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Occupational Therapy

Copyright Statement

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College of Health Care Sciences – Occupational Therapy Department

First Advisor

Cathy Pierce

Date of original Performance / Presentation


Publication Date / Copyright Date



Nova Southeastern University


The purpose of this phenomenological study was to understand the lived experience of adolescents who live with chronic pain. All 10 participants were between the ages of 13 and 17 and have lived with chronic pain for at least 6 months. Data sources for the study were two interviews for each participant, participant drawn depictions of their chronic pain, and researcher journaling. The person-environment-occupation model was used to frame the research design. The study found four main themes among the data: pain identity, invisible disease, occupational loss, and uphill climb to regain life. Each theme described the essence of the common experience of adolescents living with chronic pain. Occupational therapists can benefit from incorporating this knowledge base into their practice when providing intervention for individuals living with chronic pain to improve their overall quality of life and occupational performance.


Occupational Therapy


Health and environmental sciences, Adolescents, Chronic pain, Lived experience, Occupational therapy, Person-environment-occupation model, Phenomenological

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