Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Mandy Meyer


Occupational Therapy--methods; Spinal Cord Injuries--complications


Purpose: The purpose of this scholarly project was to develop an easy to use resource guide to aid occupational therapists in working with those aging with a spinal cord injury (SCI) that have endured a secondary complication and advocating to other healthcare professionals the usefulness of occupational therapy in treatment of these individuals.

Method: An extensive literature review was conducted using Cinahl, OT Search, PubMed, PsycInfo, various medical journals, OT course textbooks, and documents obtained from the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) website. Information was gathered about aging with SCI, common secondary complications in SCI, OT’s role in SCI, OT’s role in pressure ulcer care, OT’s role in bladder and bowel dysfunction, and OT treatment for cardiovascular complications.

Results: The Model of Human Occupation assisted in creating An Occupational Therapist’s Guide: Aging with a Spinal Cord Injury: Secondary Complications. The role of the occupational therapist was incorporated along with the Model of Human Occupation’s core components of volition, habituation, performance capacity and lived body, environment, dimensions of doing, and lifespan perspective as well as important findings from the literature review.

Conclusions: The document created includes a thorough review of the three most common secondary complications in individuals aging with a SCI. The document addresses occupational therapy’s role in all areas of occupation for individuals aging with a SCI that have endured a secondary complication for both the occupational therapist as well as the ability to advocate to other healthcare professionals about the profession.