Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Jan Stube


Adult; Leisure Activities; Occupational Therapy -- methods; Paraplegia -- rehabilitation; Quadriplegia -- rehabilitation


Problem: Limited research is available addressing active leisure participation and how leisure participation affects quality of life (QOL) of individuals following physical disability. Research shows a correlation between adaptive leisure participation and higher rated life satisfaction, community integration, perceived competence, and reduced negative mood states (Chun et. al., 2008; Lundberg et al., 2011a). There are currently no occupational therapy assessments for clients with physical disabilities having a goal of participation in active leisure occupations.

Purpose: To provide information and resources to occupational therapists and clients with paraplegia or lower tetraplegia spinal cord injury (SCI) in order to enhance participation in active leisure occupation.

Methodology: A review of literature was conducted utilizing scholarly databases such as CINAHL, PubMed, and SPORTDiscus. It was evident that there is limited research discussing the role of occupational therapy in leisure participation advocacy. From the review of literature and synthesis with the Person-Environment-Occupation model (Law et al., 1996), the following product was developed and is ready for clinical application.

Results: A Guide for Occupational Therapy Practice in Active Leisure Occupations for Adults with Paraplegia and Lower Tetraplegia was developed to encourage active leisure participation for the target population. Product sections include educational materials, Adaptive Active Leisure Occupational Therapy Evaluation and Intervention Planning, and a case study example. Additional resources are provided for adaptive equipment and adaptive programming.

Conclusion: This guide was developed by the authors to address the need for active leisure assessment and intervention planning for clients with physical disability. Occupational therapists are well equipped with professional skills and competencies (i.e., manual skills, clinical reasoning, interpersonal skills, and advocacy tools) which will help to meet the needs of this population. To our knowledge, there are no other tools that match the scope of information and resources that are provided in this guide.