Date of Award


Document Type

Oral Presentation/Poster

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Health Science

Faculty Mentor

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


Huntington's Disease, occupational therapy, education, interdisciplinary team, belonging

Subject Categories

Occupational Therapy


Introduction: Huntington’s Disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disease that presents with motor, cognitive, and psychiatric and behavioral symptoms. This project aimed to understand the benefits of incorporating occupational therapy education within an HD clinic, creating educational material to support the HD care team, and advocating for occupational therapy. Methods: The project was created to gain advanced clinical practice skills to understand occupational therapy’s role on an interdisciplinary HD clinic team and to implement occupational therapy education in an HD clinic to support patient and caregiver care. Additionally, it was designed for education to create educational material based on HD to provide a positive extension to the occupational therapy educational curriculum at the University of South Dakota. Results: Clients demonstrated an overall increase in familiarity with occupational therapy topics and reported the occupational therapy education to be highly beneficial for clients of varying ages and disease progression. Furthermore, information learned through advanced clinical practice resulted in a synthesis of knowledge to develop a recorded PowerPoint presentation and case video to support future healthcare professionals who may work with HD. Lastly, advocacy of occupational therapy within an interdisciplinary team shows to be valuable to develop feasible solutions to foster a sense of belonging for all team members within a healthcare system. Implications: Occupational therapy provides a unique skill set to maximize occupational performance through a client-centered approach to meet the needs of families affected by HD.



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