Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

LaVonne Fox


Activities of Daily Living; Neoplasms -- rehabilitation


When an individual is diagnosed with cancer, he or she can experience their physical and emotional well-being threatened by fear, isolation, anxiety, depression, fatigue, disfigurement, and pain often resulting in a diminished quality of life (Rosenbaum, Gautier, Fobair, Neri, Festi, Hawn, et al. 2004). Dealing with cancer can result in the loss of independence in basic daily routines and occupations such as: dressing, cooking, taking care of the home, eating/feeding oneself, etc. While all of these challenges can diminish quality of life, they can also be minimized by ancillary intervention services such as occupational therapy (OT).

The problem is that the referrals are not consistently occurring for individuals diagnosed with cancer that could significantly benefit. The reasons for limited appropriate referrals may include: 1) failure to identify functional impairments by acute care staff, 2) lack of appropriate rehabilitation services, 3) lack of knowledge among family members, and 4) physician and healthcare professional limited awareness of occupational therapy and proper utilization of occupational therapy services.

To meet the identified needs, educational and promotional materials have been developed and compiled into a packet titled: Occupational Therapy: Meeting the Needs of Individuals Diagnosed with Cancer. The materials developed for this packet are resources for occupational therapy practitioners to use to increase awareness about the benefits of occupational therapy. It is hoped that this will increase the access for those who could benefit from occupational therapy services to gain independence and have a higher quality of life.