Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Jan Stube


Chronic Disease -- therapy; Occupational Therapy -- methods; Pain Management


Problem: In 2014, the National Council on Aging reported that almost 92% of older adults were affected by a chronic condition and 77% of these individuals had at least two chronic conditions. In addition, chronic disease is responsible for 75% of United States health care spending. Ironically, only 1% of health care dollars are spent on public education and other efforts to reduce the incidence of chronic disease.

Purpose: The purpose of this scholarly project was to provide a framework for occupational therapists to deliver effective treatment for individuals with chronic disease. Due to the longevity of chronic disease, encouraging clients to self-manage their condition is important.

Methodology: An extensive literature review was conducted on the impact of chronic disease on individuals and effective strategies to self-manage chronic disease. The literature review was completed using reliable databases and journal articles to ensure relevant information was obtained. During the literature review, it was evident there is limited research discussing the role of occupational therapy in relation to chronic disease. Upon completion of the literature review, a manual was produced to outline the role of occupational therapy in chronic disease management. The Occupational Adaptation (OA) model was used as a theoretical base to guide the development of this manual. The sections are organized as follows: Part I contains information related to assessing individuals readiness for change and strategies to advance them through the change process. Part II is consistent with the person component of the OA model and contains three sections discussing cognitive, psychosocial, and sensorimotor components and how to address each of these areas. This section contains information for therapists as well as handouts for clients. Part III contains post-intervention evaluations for both the client and the therapist to assess their satisfaction with the therapeutic process.

Conclusion: The purpose of this scholarly project and resulting manual was to provide a guide identifying the role of occupational therapy in chronic disease self-management. The product was written for both the occupational therapist and the client to provide an intervention framework for chronic disease self-management. The goal of this manual is to develop relative mastery within the client and allow them to participate in occupations important to them. In addition, the manual aims to change a client’s internal adaptive response to facilitate more adaptive responses to novel situations in the future, thus helping them manage their chronic disease more effectively.