Karen Jacobs


Katelyn Jennings, Abby Wendel

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The purpose of the study is to provide current and future generations of occupational therapists a view of the history and how occupational therapy practice has evolved from its inception to current practice. This is done through the life history stories of occupational therapists who have held leadership roles at the national level and beyond. The participant, Dr. Karen Jacobs, was selected from a participant list compiled through purposive sampling by the project directors. The data was gathered by a semi-structured interview with the use of an interview schedule created by the project directors. The data was analyzed through document review, a verbatim transcription of the interview, and coding of the data that was gathered. Through data analysis four categories emerged which included: career path, personal and professional growth, lifestyle, and impact of evolution of practice. From those categories themes emerged and then collapsed into a final assertion. The results of the study found that Dr. Jacobs provided insight on how occupational therapy has evolved throughout history and her career. Dr. Jacob’s lifestyle, career path, evolution of practice, and her ability to grow personally and professionally have influenced her passion to make a difference and provide opportunities in occupational therapy.

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