Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Mandy Meyer


Brachial Plexus -- injuries; Caregivers -- education; Infant; Occupational Therapy -- methods


The purpose of this scholarly project was to develop a holistic manual for occupational therapists to provide to caregivers of infants with neonatal brachial plexus palsy (NBPP). A literature review was conducted on the impact of NBPP on both the infant’s and their caregiver’s quality of life. The literature review revealed that NBPP can lead to functional deficits for infants, increasing the amount of care, attention, and resources they require. Due to these challenges, a caregiver may experience high levels of stress, which could result in depression, anger, and frustration (Matlow, Stevens, Harrison, & Laxer, 2006). Also, current research is lacking on the functional rehabilitation of infants and children with NBPP (Vaz et al., 2010). Based on the unmet needs identified, the guide titled “Supporting Caregiver and Infant Health in the Home: A Guide for Caregivers of Infants with Neonatal Brachial Plexus Injuries” was created.

Guided by the Model of Human Occupation (MOHO), this guide addresses the areas of volition, habituation, and performance capacity of the caregiver, all while using a client-centered and holistic approach to provide care for both the infant and the caregiver (Kielhofner, 2008). Principles from the Adult Learning Theory were also utilized in the creation of the product to make it applicable and understandable to caregivers from a variety of educational levels. Within this caregiver guide, the following topics are addressed: what NBPP is, what caregivers can expect from their infant, activities to do with their infant, and how to provide adequate care for themselves. Also an “Occupational Therapist User Guide” was created in order to educate therapists on how the caregiver and infant guide was created and how to best implement it with their clients. Overall, this guide is meant to provide caregivers with a thorough and effective way to provide the best care for themselves and their infants with the help of their occupational therapist.