Date of Award

Fall 12-2022

Document Type

OTD Capstone Project

Degree Name

Post Professional Occupational Therapy


Rehabilitation Sciences

Research Coordinator

Christine Raber, PHD, OTR/L

Program Director

Mikel Stone, OTD, OTR/L



Objective: The purpose of this study was to explore the barriers and supports in the delivery of OT services, identify current OT-specific protocols, and explore opinions on critical care certification and OT-specific ICU best practice guidelines.

Methods: A non-experimental descriptive data collection study with the use of an online survey. The secure survey link was embedded via email and sent to 10,000 Ohio occupational therapy practitioners. Inclusion criteria were licensed therapists (OTR and COTA) with past or current experience in adult critical care. The primary researcher developed survey questions focused on practitioners’ perspectives and personal experiences with critical care onboarding training, delirium management, and protocols followed in a critical care setting.

Results: This study garnered 204 responses from Ohio OT practitioners with an active license. The majority of OT practitioners either “agree” (56.86%) or “strongly agree” (35.78%) that the ICU is considered a specialty setting. The majority of respondents either “strongly agreed” (65.20%) or “agreed” (31.86%) that OT-specific ICU best practice guidelines would be beneficial for new and existing OT practitioners. This study has helped identify key factors that influence the scope and proficiency development of practitioners working in an adult critical care setting.

Conclusion: Developing OT-specific best practice guidelines would benefit practitioners working in an adult critical care environment. Future research into critical care experience, onboarding training, understanding of delirium management, and OT-specific protocols would be beneficial to guide the development of best practice guidelines.

Keywords: Intensive care unit, critical care, occupational therapy, delirium, post-intensive care syndrome, ICU survivor, delirium management


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