Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Dr. Ben Atchison

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The purpose of this study was to discover whether medical doctors (MD) and doctors of osteopath (DO) at two large hospitals in the Midwest have adequate knowledge about the roles and functions of occupational therapy, its services and benefits to patients and its implications on interdisciplinary team success. Increasing the knowledge in these three areas could influence occupational therapy referral rates and, as a result, impact the quality of patient care. This study used a descriptive survey to collect data from 55 physicians. Respondents acquired their knowledge of occupational therapy through secondary sources within informal sources of information. A statistically significant relationship was found between knowledge of occupational therapy acquired through informal sources and the referral rate. Over 80% of respondents selected Activities of Daily Living (ADL) as being an occupational therapy service area. Strategies for increasing physicians' knowledge of occupational therapy services and increasing referral rates to occupational therapy include offering regular seminars, providing literature to describe the services, initiating personal contact, establishing regular scheduled tours to occupational therapy departments and offering interactive workshops on occupational therapy treatments.