Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Aaron Bonsall, PhD, OT/L

Second Advisor

Tania Shearon, OTR/L


Over the last two decades, oncology has made vast improvements in the treatment and management of cancer. Medical advancements in diagnostic imaging, treatment agents and improved surgical techniques have transformed the effectiveness of cancer delivery and care. However treatment related obstacles and health concerns of survivors trails behind that of the treatment for the actual cancer. The literature identified a growing need for increased psychosocial and self-management services to help provide a more cohesive spectrum of care. The inclusion of occupational therapy services within the cancer care continuum can strengthen functional practice and help treat physical and psychosocial barriers. This qualitative study explores the role of disruptions and perceived hardships occurring in patients experiencing cancer and related-treatments. The study focused on the experiences of four survivors. Their stories provide insight into chronic disruptions and late-effects of cancer and related treatments. The findings within the literature yield support for this study. The use of narratives allowed for a unique understanding of the multifaceted complications cancer patients face, including overcoming physical barriers, learning modifications for functional decline, dealing with cognitive impairments and forgetfulness, and reducing the impact of decreased energy levels. Using a holistic occupational therapy lens, this study provides insight towards identifying barriers in care while additionally promoting the incorporation of occupational therapy services to help subsidize the needs in current care.