Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Julie Grabanski


Background & Purpose: Hands are an integral part of what defines us as human beings, they provide us with independence in work, leisure, self-care, and social interactions (Hannah, 2011). Injury to the upper extremity can harm one’s ability to engage in daily occupations, and often can result in a wide range of consequences affecting the physical, psychological, social, and economic aspects of a person’s everyday life (Cederlund et al., 2010; Chown et al., 2017). Treatment is often placed on the physical aspects of the injury, while the phycological symptoms associated with the injury are often not addressed (Jack & Estes, 2010). Evidence indicates that there is a lack of psychosocial-based assessments and interventions, with further findings implying that therapists working in hands typically focus on physical factors such as range of motion, strength, edema, and scarring (Chown et al., 2017). To prevent psychosocial barriers to occupational performance, occupational therapists need to incorporate psychosocial-based assessments and interventions early in the rehabilitation process post-hand and upper limb injury (Chown et al., 2017). Occupational therapists are highly specialized in physical care, but also have the training and knowledge to address psychosocial issues that influence patient recovery (Hannah, 2011). The purpose of this case study is to assist occupational therapists in addressing the psychosocial symptoms associated with an upper extremity.

Methodology: A needs assessment was conducted through a review of the literature to determine the needs of clients who are experiencing psychosocial symptoms associated with hand and upper extremity injuries. The Person-Environment-Occupation (PEO) Model(Baptiste, 2017) was used as a guide in the development of the case study intended for use of occupational therapists in the outpatient hand setting, to address the psychosocial symptoms that are associated with hand and upper extremity injuries.

Outcome: A case study was developed to assist the occupational therapist in addressing the psychosocial symptoms associated with hand and upper extremity injuries and its impact on recovery. Using this case study, psychosocial factors will be addressed throughout the occupational therapy treatment process