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Date of Award


Document Type

Oral Presentation/Poster

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Ranelle Nissen


occupational therapy, perinatal, mothers, rehabilitation

Subject Categories

Occupational Therapy


Various physical, mental, and emotional hardships often parallel the triumphs of the perinatal period for mothers. Occupational performance deficits may be evident within the childcare, personal hygiene, toileting and toilet hygiene, sexual activity, sleep, meal preparation, work performance, social participation, financial management, and home management occupations (Slootjes et al., 2016). Thus, the purpose of the capstone experience was to determine the role of occupational therapy in the physical and psychological rehabilitation of mothers in the perinatal period. Secondarily, validation of the effectiveness of the Model of Human Occupation as a guiding framework for occupational therapists serving pregnant and postpartum women was investigated. Methods included business management and marketing activities for a pelvic rehabilitation clinic, advanced clinical practice in perinatal care for women, and completion of a research study with surveys being sent to occupational therapists and healthcare workers. As a result, business concepts were introduced to the author, and the Model of Human Occupation was viewed in a new way to aid patient activation. Enhanced understanding of the contextual factors affecting mothers in the perinatal period was accomplished. Finally, the author developed advanced experience in research and was able to contribute to a practical framework for investigating occupational therapy’s role in maternal health. Findings indicated that occupational therapy is well-suited to meet the physical and psychological needs of perinatal mothers, and enhanced advocacy for the profession in this role is needed.