Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Breann Lamborn


Health Care Reform; Occupational Therapy; Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act


There is little information and research addressing occupational therapists’ knowledge level and ability to implement the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This leads to the following problem statements: occupational therapists’ knowledge level of and ability to implement changes to practice is unknown; furthermore, it is unknown if there is a difference in knowledge level based on professional membership, years of practice, and area of practice; and it is also unknown which aspects or areas of the ACA occupational therapists would like to know more about, and if there is a difference based upon professional membership, years of practice or area of practice.

The researchers created a quantitative, mail-based survey to gain insight to the problem statements. The researchers obtained approval from University of North Dakota’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) to administer this survey to occupational therapists licensed in Wyoming, and mailed the survey. The researchers utilized SPSS® version 22 to test correlational statistics and data. Independent samples t-tests and ANOVA were utilized to test significance and analyze possible correlations.

The survey was sent to 281 Wyoming occupational therapists, with a total of 139 (49.47%) occupational therapists returning the survey. More of the occupational therapists (63 of 139 or 45.32%) rated their general knowledge of the ACA as a two on a scale of one to five than in any other area. When asked about specific areas of the ACA and its relationship to occupational therapy most occupational therapists (37%-46% or 52-64 of 139) rated themselves as having no knowledge or as a one out of five on each area. Additionally, most occupational therapists (approximately 49% or 67 of 139) rated their research habits at a one, indicating that they do not research current changes in legislation regarding the ACA. Furthermore, with the correlational statistics completed, relationships between variables were detected. Relationships were found with knowledge level of the ACA and occupational therapists working in orthopedics and geriatrics. Furthermore, pediatric practitioners reported a lower need for knowledge about the ACA than those in any other area (p<.001); however, occupational therapists practicing in SNFs (33 of 130) reported a greater need for knowledge than those in other areas (p=.0465).