Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Janet S. Jedlicka


Occupational Therapy -- methods; Spinal Cord Injuries -- rehabilitation; Substance-Related Disorders -- diagnosis; Substance-Related Disorders -- rehabilitation; Substance-Related Disorders -- therapy


Purpose: The purpose of this scholarly project was to assist therapists in physical rehabilitation settings to begin addressing and treating substance abuse with patients post spinal cord injury (SCI). The project provides therapists with a resource guide to use for identifying specific screenings. occupational therapy assessments, intervention strategies, and discharge recommendations that may be useful during treatment sessions.

Methods: The literature review was conducted on the topics of substance abuse and SCIs. Research identified there is a lack of substance abuse recognition and treatment by healthcare professionals in a physical rehabilitation setting as many healthcare professionals such as occupational therapists either ignore the substance abuse problems or refer patients to other services. This may be due to lack of knowledge, training or experiences working with the substance abuse population.

Results: The information from the review of literature guided the development of the product. The manual provides information and resources regarding screenings that may predict substance abuse. Included in the manual are information and resources regarding occupational therapy assessments that may be beneficial for this population in order to determine the impact substance abuse has on patients' post-SCIs occupational performance and quality of life. Intervention strategies that may be useful for the substance abuse population along with occupational therapy approaches and enablement skills are described within the manual. Lastly, the manual briefly addresses discharge reconunendations for the patients for continuation of services if necessary.