Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Sonia Zimmerman


Professional-Patient Relations; Rural Health Services


Dual relationships are a common challenge for health care providers serving a rural community. A dual relationship is when a therapist has a professional and a personal relationship with a client. Occupational therapists may be at greater risk for dual relationships because of the personal nature of their interventions. These relationships create ethical dilemmas between the patient and the therapist and impact the effectiveness ofthe delivery of therapy services. A literature review includes information on the following topics: issues of rural healthcare, occupational therapy in rural healthcare, dual/multiple relationships, and continuing education.

The project is a continuing educational course on the management of dual relationships for occupational therapists in rural settings. It is designed to be presented in a videoconference format. The Ecology of Human Performance framework and The Andragogy in Practice Model were chosen as foundations for the education course. The course content is presented in three modules: (a) Definition and Foundation of Dual Relationships, (b) Dual Relationships Explored, and (c) Managing Dual Relationships. Teaching methodologies employed include PowerPoint lecture/discussion sessions, small group activities, and use of a discussion board for follow-up and networking opportunities for therapists enrolled in the course.