Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Bernard Austin Kigunda Muriithi, PhD, OTR/L


The purpose of this capstone project was to develop a cancer survivor program focusing on the quality of life of cancer survivors through occupational therapy. The data of overall cancer incidence within the Hispanic community in Maricopa County indicate that the rate of mortality is one of the highest compared to other ethnic groups. The capstone consisted of several phases: 1) Structured and unstructured interview and an analysis of the patient’s lived experiences. 2) Based on the interview findings, eight interventions were developed, implemented, and tested with four patients via telehealth approach. 3) Pre- and post-intervention assessments were administered to detect if the intervention produced an effect, regarding quality of life.

The results demonstrated that quality of life of all participants improved after occupational therapy intervention. For the participants with stage 4 colon cancer and stage 3 ovarian cancer, the quality of life improved from poor to good. For the participants with stage 1 breast cancer and stager 2 ovarian cancer the quality of life improved from fair to high based on the client interviews and pre-post intervention quality of life measurement using the World Health Organization Quality of Life Scale (WHOQOl-100). This capstone project identified specific needs and challenges that cancer survivors experienced that must be addressed by health providers seeking a holistic approach to cancer care. This approach can be replicated by occupational therapists to promote health and quality of life for cancer survivors of Hispanic and other marginalized populations.