Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Health Related Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Stacey Reynolds

Second Advisor

Dr. Carole Ivey

Third Advisor

Dr. Kelli Gary

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Sarah Marrs


For patients with cancer diagnoses, effects from the disease or as a result of cancer treatments can cause profound impairments impeding patient functioning and independence. These assaults to the independent achievement of activities have far reaching implications and linkages to a patient’s length of stay and their likelihood of a hospital readmission. Unfortunately, occupational therapy services have frequently been found not to be ordered for patients with cancer, even when there have been demonstrated functional deficits and needs. Through the analysis of patient records from a National Cancer Institute hospital over 5 years, the current study investigated occupational therapy services for patients with cancer during their hospital stay. Various factors, including the type of occupational therapy services provided as well as individual factors such as pain levels, cancer stage and living environment amongst other factors, were considered in relation to patient function, readmission status, and length of stay. Using paired t-tests as well as linear and logistic regression, relationships were investigated. It was anticipated that the provision of occupational therapy services would result in increased functional mobility as measured by the Activity Measure for Post-Acute Care (AM-PAC), as well as a decreased likelihood of a hospital readmission and a decreased length of stay when compared to patients with cancer in the hospital who did not receive occupational therapy services. It was found that for patients who received OT services, those patients had a statistically significant increase in their AM-PAC Basic Mobility scores, their hospital length of stay, and an increase in functional independence on the AM-PAC Basic Mobility related to an increase in the number of occupational therapy services provided which did not reach statistical significance. Additionally, for patients who received occupational therapy services, those patients had a statistically significant decrease in their risk of a 30 day hospital readmission. The results of the study are intended to contribute to the body of knowledge on the benefits of occupational therapy services on an individual and person-based level as well as a health systems-based level.


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Available for download on Monday, October 28, 2024