Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy


Occupational Therapy

Project Chairperson

Aimee Sidhu

Second Advisor

Renee Watling

Third Advisor

Maggie Hayes


postpartum, caregivers, occupational therapy intervention


Through a collaboration with a practicing occupational therapist in Tacoma, Washington who is currently interested in opening a private practice focused on providing care to caregivers in the postpartum period, the researchers posed the question, “When treating caregivers with children under one year of age, what is the effectiveness of existing interventions within the scope of occupational therapy in improving occupational performance?” Through a critical appraisal of topic project, it was found that the existing evidence supports occupational therapy interventions in the form of brief motivational interviewing, behavioral treatments, self-regulation education, wrist stabilization techniques, and group treatments aimed at decreasing depressive and anxious symptoms.

After the critical appraisal of topic project was finalized, researchers completed a needs assessment for the potential future business in the form of a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis. This analysis was informed by a survey dispersed to healthcare professionals treating caregivers in the postpartum period and an interview with a certified nurse midwife in the Tacoma area. Information from the survey and interview indicated that healthcare professionals are unaware of occupational therapy’s role in serving caregivers postpartum but are interested in learning more. Future recommendations include further research on the lived experience of caregivers and how depressive symptoms and role change difficulties affect occupational performance.

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