Credentials Display

Shannon Metzger, BS Psychology, BS Clinical Exercise Science; Jeanine Beasley, EdD, OTRL, CHT, FAOTA; Christine Byam, BS Recreational Therapy; Jordan Marheineke, BS Recreational Therapy; Amy Riley, BA Communication Studies; Amy Stites, BS Pre-Physical Therapy; Diane Maodush-Pitzer, DHA, MPA, CTRS; Dawn DeVries, B.S., M. Div, M.A., PhD


Background: Occupational Therapy (OT) was founded as a holistic profession that addresses the mind, body, and spirit. Research indicates that occupational therapists feel uncomfortable incorporating spirituality into practice. Method: This study aimed to identify perceptions of occupational therapists in addressing the spiritual needs of their clients. A cross-sectional Qualtrics survey was adapted from the Religious/Spiritually Integrated Practice Assessment Scale (RSIPAS). The survey was electronically sent out by several professional OT organizations. It was sent to occupational therapists and OT assistants to obtain their perspective of incorporating spirituality in practice. Quantitative and qualitative data analysis was completed. Results: Of the 52 participants that completed the Likert scale items on the survey, 46 were open to learning about spiritual beliefs that differ from their own. Ninety-seven percent of the participants believed incorporating spirituality can improve client outcomes and achieve goals; 95% could address unfamiliar beliefs; and > 90% said that it was essential to address clients’ spiritual beliefs. Qualitative themes involving barriers to spiritual implementation included: too little time, lack of education, and workplace integration complications. Conclusion: Although spirituality is accepted as part of the OT process, there are a multitude of barriers that impact the feasibility and inclusion of spirituality in practice, including time, workplace integration, and education.


The authors declare that they have no competing financial, professional, or personal interest that might have influenced the performance or presentation of the work described in this manuscript.