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

Elise Bloch

Publication Date / Copyright Date



Nova Southeastern University


Premature infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) may experience extensive hospitalizations due to prematurity and medical complications requiring interventions to sustain life and support physiological development. NICU staff are often focused on immediate medical concerns for these infants and may not consider the development and play needs for these long term hospitalized infants. Occupational therapists are aware of the importance of play and supporting the parental role and co-occupations between the infant and parents. This capstone paper discusses the Shaping the Lives of Little Ones Developmental Equipment Project for infants, nurses, and parents designed to provide opportunities for sensory-motor experiences and play for older infants by increasing access to essential equipment and toys for infants’ development. Details of the project, methodology, implementation, results and future implications for practice and research are presented.


Occupational Therapy


Infant-maternal bonding, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Professional occupations, Co-occupations, Play, Premature infants, Sensory experiences, Toys