Occupational Therapy Program Student Theses, Dissertations and Capstones

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (Dr.OT)

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

Adrianne Lauer

Second Advisor

Cathy Peirce

Publication Date / Copyright Date



Nova Southeastern University


The purpose of this capstone project is to develop an evidenced-based, innovative, and comprehensive occupational therapy evaluation and intervention protocol for breast cancer care. The contents of this paper will include an introduction into the current care provided to survivors, literature review on best practice in breast cancer care, outline of the procedures completed to discover what best practice care should be, results of these procedures, discussion of the results, and conclusion with proposed program and recommendations for further investigation. The concern investigated is the inconsistencies in care provided to survivors from the time of diagnosis throughout their lifespan or survivorship. A body of growing evidence supports the important need to address functional performance from the point of diagnosis through treatment and survivorship. A model of rehabilitation-based care has been put forward by the American Cancer Society as an optimal construct, however, there are significant inconsistencies in how this model is being leveraged to support breast cancer patients. These inconsistencies occur from cancer center to cancer center and even from physician to physician within the same cancer center. Participants in this capstone project include experts from the on-site residency, interviews with subject-matter experts and survivors as part of a focus group. The essential features of the methods used to discover best practice include a literature review, onsite residency, participation in an International Cancer Summit, continuing education, and completion of a focus group. Results indicate that additional services are needed in order to have an evidenced-based, innovative, and comprehensive occupational therapy breast cancer program. Conclusions provided aim to diminish inconsistencies in the current care being provided to this population.


Occupational Therapy


Health and environmental sciences, Breast cancer, Cancer, Occupational therapy, Rehabilitation

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