Occupational Therapy Program Student Theses, Dissertations and Capstones

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Occupational Therapy

Copyright Statement

All rights reserved. This publication is intended for use solely by faculty, students, and staff of Nova Southeastern University. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, now known or later developed, including but not limited to photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author or the publisher.


College of Health Care Sciences – Occupational Therapy Department

First Advisor

Adrienne Lauer

Second Advisor

Catherine Peirce

Publication Date / Copyright Date



Nova Southeastern University


Occupational therapy focuses on complex dynamic relationships between people, occupations and environments. For clients with spinal cord injuries (SCI), a way of improving the connection between these three aspects is by providing assistive technology (AT). A fundamental issue identified by consumers regarding AT provision was abandonment, which is caused by a mismatch between aspects of the person, the assistive product, and characteristics of the environment. One solution is engaging collaboratively with clients and recognizing individual needs, thereby allowing therapists to meet clients’ occupational expectations and provide clients with increased functional independence. During this capstone project, barriers to AT provision were identified through an extensive review of the literature, an online survey sent to 82 therapists, and a 90-hour residency with AT specialists. Respondents reported a need for further education on AT, that confidence with high-tech AT was lower than with low-tech AT, and a need for a simplified AT resource tool. This resulted in creation of an educational resource AT tool, in website format, called the Assistive Technology Prescription Tool for Occupational therapists (ATPT-OT). The ATPT-OT is a tool designed to enhance occupational therapists’ ability to identify and recommend AT for individuals with SCI during the prescription process.


Occupational Therapy


Health and environmental sciences, Education, Assistive technology, Occupational therapy, Spinal cord injury

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