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

Max A. Ito

Publication Date / Copyright Date



Nova Southeastern University


Objective: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is one of the most common neurological diseases affecting adults of working age, and those of younger ages of onset have been increasingly recognized. Twenty-seven percent of people with MS (PwMS) are age 30 years old or younger. The burden of MS for young adults puts them at risk for poorer outcomes regarding their education, family planning, vocation, and social skills as they transition to adulthood. Fine motor (FM) skill impairment might impede performance within the daily occupations of young adults who are transitioning into adulthood. Few studies focus on the occupations and occupational performance of younger adults with MS. Method: Forty participants with MS between the ages of 18 to 30 were recruited to participate in a study. Two standardized measures were used to identify possible FM dexterity deficits and one standardized self-report was used to measure the perceived satisfaction and performance of occupations for this population. A semi-structured interview was conducted with a subgroup of 18 participants to understand the lived experiences of young adults with MS (YAwMS) and their FM performance during their occupations. Results: With quantitative and qualitative analysis, a relationship was suggested between FM scores and both perceived performance and satisfaction scores of an adapted performance measure. Conclusion: Young adults with MS perceive difficulties with occupations that are influenced by their FM status. It is recommended that occupational therapy professionals consider the motor skill needed to perform and complete occupations that specifically require FM skills.


Occupational Therapy


Health and environmental sciences, Chronic illnesses, Multiple sclerosis, Occupational participation, Occupational therapy, Occupations, Young adults

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