Date of Award
Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)
Dr. Moses Ikiugu
trauma, adverse childhood experiences, occupational therapy, trauma-informed care, program
Occupational therapy practitioners frequently work with children who have experienced early adversity in the form of abuse, neglect, household dysfunction, trauma, and/or medical ailments. While many occupational therapists understand the foundational knowledge regarding trauma, there are no programs outlining how to apply trauma-informed strategies in pediatric practice. Therefore, the purpose of my capstone project was to develop an evidence-based, trauma information resource for pediatric occupational therapists to use as a guide for providing trauma-informed services. I also acquired advanced trauma-informed care skills through continuing education courses and I gained practical experience by providing occupational therapy services for at-risk youth at Integrative Therapy, LLC. in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I developed the Trauma-Informed Practice Protocol which included information on creating a trauma-informed environment, conducting evaluations, providing interventions, and additional trauma resources. Pediatric occupational therapists (n=16) in the Midwest participated in the program. Mixed methods were used to evaluate if the protocol improved the occupational therapists’ ability to understand trauma-informed service provision and apply strategies to their practice. Results of the evaluation showed significant improvements in the following domains: clinical reasoning, trauma-informed evaluations, trauma-informed interventions, creating a trauma-informed environment, and communication. As an educational resource, the Trauma-Informed Practice Protocol was effective in increasing the occupational therapists’ perceived competence in trauma-informed service provision. Further research is needed to assess client outcomes when using a trauma-informed approach in pediatric occupational therapy practice.
Reishus, Jessica, "A Trauma-Informed Practice Protocol for Pediatric Occupational Therapy Practitioners" (2020). Occupational Therapy Capstone Presentations. 6.