Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Jyothi Gupta, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA


The aim of this Doctoral Experiential Component was to explore the occupational experiences of refugees in engaging in cross-cultural occupations. This was done by using the person- environment-occupation model and Occupational Therapy Practice Framework as theoretical lenses to identify and map occupational barriers across the socioecological model. Identifying occupational barriers across multiple levels of prevention creates new ways to address specific occupational needs and allows for impactful change. This project explored the occupational barriers of 8 participants in Salt Lake City, UT. Participants were refugees from Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Syria, and United States-born to Sudanese parents, and at the time of this project all were receiving occupational therapy services. For purposes of this project, participants were seen 1-4 times a week, for about 3 months. This project resulted in two key findings. First, occupational therapy is invaluable in addressing occupational barriers by educating clients, modifying contextual factors, and task analysis, thereby facilitating adaptation and integration. Second, occupational therapy interventions are most beneficial when they address the clients’ immediate needs and help with long-term integration.