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

Wendy Stav

Second Advisor

Sarah Blaylock

Third Advisor

Tony Gentry

Publication Date / Copyright Date



Nova Southeastern University


Decreased sleep can negatively affect mental and physical health and can significantly disrupt participation in daily occupations and leisure interests. Even though sleep is an area of occupation, there is limited evidence on the effectiveness of occupational therapy interventions for sleep. The purpose of this embedded mixed methods research study was to identify how disruptions in sleep affected daily occupational performance and to understand the effectiveness of occupational therapy- directed non-pharmacological sleep interventions for three participants in a community re-entry program for brain injury. This study utilized a single-subject research design during a 4- to 5-week multicomponent sleep program using multiple sleep-related outcome measures and daily sleep diary and Fitbit data. Semi-structured interviews were also utilized. Identified qualitative themes were changes in sleep patterns and living with sleep disturbance. Participants reported decreased energy and fatigue after disrupted sleep but also reported still being able to complete daily occupations. Quantitative results yielded variable changes in sleep, with overall positive responses to interventions noted in a cumulative effect over time. The most significant improvements were in sleep efficiency and total sleep time for all three participants using sleep diary data. Additionally, two participants reported decreased sleepiness and increased functional outcomes after participating in the sleep interventions. In conclusion, simple behavioral, occupational, and environmental adaptations can improve sleep after brain injury. This study also further supports the role of occupational therapy in addressing sleep in education, practice, and research.


Occupational Therapy


Multicomponent sleep program, Brain injury