Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jyothi Gupta, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA


Primary care is essential in the United States, especially as more Americans are diagnosed with a chronic condition and the aging population increases. For many Americans, primary care providers are their only access to the health care system due to financial burden, limited access, and several other barriers. For these reasons, primary care clinics need to develop multidisciplinary teams where patients can receive whole-person health care. Occupational therapists have the knowledge and skills to provide client-center care and work within primary care. However, multiple barriers prohibit occupational therapists from entering the primary care field. The most significant barrier is reimbursement. The purpose of this project was to explore an occupational therapist’s role in a primary care setting by collaborating with an occupational therapist who created weight management programming for primary care patients. Throughout the project, the student participated in the lifestyle weight management groups, created supplemental modules, and contributed to program development. The student also collected patient data to determine the overall effectiveness of the program. Overall, the program was effective in helping participants lose weight, improving their behavioral health, and developing necessary skills to maintain their overall well-being.