Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Debra Hanson


Attitude of Health Personnel; Occupational Therapy; Primary Health Care


Due to an increased focus on prevention in current United States health care policy, an increasing number of occupational therapists have been integrating into primary care teams. There is little to no research available demonstrating the perceptions of practicing occupational therapists regarding primary care; specifically what barriers and opportunities are hindering and helping, and if current practitioners are considering transitioning to primary care. The purpose of this independent study was to conduct a focus group with practicing therapists to explore OT perceptions regarding the potential role they might play in primary care and how/if they might begin this process in their respective facilities. Participants were recruited at the Occupational Therapy Association of Colorado’s annual conference in October 2014 after attendance at a breakout session on the topic of primary care. Eight volunteers participated in a 45 minute semi-structured focus group. Data analysis consisted of initial coding and grouping of codes into categories. From the categories, themes emerged; each theme was supported by a minimum of three quotations from participants. Results of the data analysis revealed four major themes including: (1) anticipating change; (2) therapist confidence; (3) advocacy for occupational therapy as a profession; and (4) reimbursement of primary care services. These themes demonstrate the need for further education and resources on this topic with specific, concrete examples and practical guides of how occupational therapy might work in primary care and how practitioners can be reimbursed for their services.