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Date of Award


Document Type

Oral Presentation/Poster

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Health Science

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Mackenzie Feldhacker, OTD, OTR/L, CLT-LANA


occupational therapy, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, virtual reality, virtual simulation, VITA4Vets, job interview skills, relaxation/mindfulness techniques

Subject Categories

Occupational Therapy


The aims of this Capstone experience were to gain advanced clinical practice skills in the therapeutic use of virtual reality and to conduct a quality improvement (QI) project on the effectiveness of virtual reality on improving job interview confidence and competence while reducing anxiety. The first four weeks of the Capstone experience were spent remotely in preparation for the remaining ten weeks, which were completed onsite at a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Care System in the Midwest Region. Three learning objectives were completed by the occupational therapy student: (1) develop specialized skills in the area of virtual reality exposure therapy (VRET) for use with individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); (2) examine the effectiveness of VITA4Vets in improving occupational performance in individuals with PTSD and/or anxiety; (3) implement a VITA4Vets program/protocol at the VA facility. The occupational therapy student also completed learning activities and deliverables that correlated with each learning objective such as continuing education courses, interview guide, and summary, IRB application, marketing materials, quality improvement project write-up, and a user guide for the VITA4Vets software. Following the completion of the Capstone experience, the participating Veterans had self-reported improvements in job interview confidence and competence with a reduction in anxiety. The capstone student learned the necessary skills to use virtual reality therapeutically to improve the occupational performance of Veterans.