Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Dr. Stanley Paul

Second Advisor

Dr. Ben Atchison

Third Advisor

Dr. Richard Cooper

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Occupational therapists are increasingly practicing in community-based settings. Due to changes in the health care system, the need for defining roles, and explaining what a profession can contribute to health care has been highlighted. The major goal of this study was to identify job roles, job skills, and professional expertise of community-based therapists. The Community Practice Project survey was mailed to 200 AOTA registered community-based therapists. A response rate of 42% was achieved. The results provided a profile of the typical community-based therapist. Principal roles, job skills, and areas of professional expertise were also identified. The adequacy of educational preparation was also assessed. Responding therapists reported they were not prepared to use the skills of networking, consulting, and communications skills. They were also not prepared in the expertise areas such as community resources, self-directed learning, and client centered approach to practice. Overall, therapists expressed satisfaction with work in community-based positions.