Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Dr. Susan K. Meyers

Second Advisor

Dr. Chuck Howard

Third Advisor

Barbara Hooper

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Literature review identified confusion in the definitions of spirituality with religion. However, there have been attempts to separate the two definitions by professionals who consider holism an important concept of clinical practice. This · study was designed to identify occupational therapists' definitions of spirituality in clinical practice. Also under investigation was the therapist's assessment and use of spirituality for treatment purposes.

A survey was sent to a random sample of occupational therapists in order to gather data about their spiritual activities, their personal definitions of spirituality and their use of spirituality in evaluation and treatment of clients.

Occupational therapists who identified participation in religious activities were likely to include spirituality in their clinical practice. The inclusion of spirituality was context bound and initiated by clients. Spirituality remains unclear to practitioners, however a definition was proposed using therapist identified words associated with spirituality.