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Date of Award

Spring 4-8-2021

Document Type

Oral Presentation/Poster

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Health Science

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Shana Cerny, OTD, OTR/L, BCP, TBRI® Educator


human trafficking, South Dakota, occupational performance, research, occupational therapy

Subject Categories

Occupational Therapy


The purpose of this capstone experience was to gain advanced clinical experience in occupational therapy’s role in human trafficking prevention and response, and to further add to the body of knowledge on occupational needs of survivors by completing a research study. This capstone was completed at the outreach location of Call to Freedom (CTF) in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. In this setting the student worked alongside case management, employment services, and emergency addiction services to meet the needs of survivors. The student demonstrated advanced clinical practice skills, under the guidance of the occupational therapy staff at CTF, through providing occupation-based interventions, compiling evidence-based interventions, documenting daily treatment notes, and creating materials for OT interventions. Furthermore, a retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted to identify occupational performance problems self-identified by survivors of human trafficking, using the COPM, to further understand the occupational needs of this population. The student was able to complete the project during the 14-week capstone experience. As the role of occupational therapy in human trafficking continues to emerge, more research is needed to continue to advocate for occupational therapy’s participation in the recovery team and the occupational needed of human trafficking survivors.