Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Dr. David L. Nelson

Second Advisor

Dr. Doris A. Smith

Third Advisor

Dr. Cindee Peterson

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Adding purpose to daily occupation in order to promote performance is a basic premise of occupational therapy. This study investigated the hypothesis that in individuals with hemiplegia, two added-purpose occupations would elicit more exercise repetitions than a rote exercise occupation. In a counterbalanced order, twenty-one hemiplegic patients aged 51 to 78 experienced all three conditions of a dynamic standing balance exercise involving bending down, reaching , standing up, and extending the arm. One condition of added purposes involved materials (small balls and a target); another prompted imagery of those materials; the third involved the same physical exercise without added purpose. A one-way ANOVA for related measures indicated that the subjects performed significantly differently among the three occupations (p<.001). A Turkey test revealed that the subjects did significantly more exercise repetitions in the added-materials occupation and in the imagery-based occupation than in the rote exercise occupation (p<.05). This study demonstrates how added purpose can enhance motor performance in individuals with hemiplegia.