Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy


Occupational Therapy

Project Chairperson

Shelly Norvell

Second Advisor

Renee Watling

Third Advisor

Maggie Hayes


quality of life, long term care, transitioning older adults


This research was proposed by community collaborator Lauren Gilliland, OTR/L, the director of occupational therapy at the Villages, a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility, in central Florida. Gilliland was interested in adding new interventions to her current practice, especially with older adults affected by transitioning to a long term care facility, who experience a shift of daily roles, routines, and identity that may impact their quality of life. The focus of this evidence-based project was to explore current literature of occupational therapy interventions aiming to improve quality of life for older adults, specifically transitioning into long term care facilities. The CAT findings provided various occupational therapy interventions that have been found to improve quality of life for this population. The interventions were organized into themes of culture and art, music, spirituality, exercise-based interventions, dog-assisted therapy, and altruistic activities to help residents transitioning into long-term care to maintain their well-being.

The knowledge translation activity encompassed creating and organizing a resource notebook of the recommended interventions found in the research. Our collaborating practitioner was eager for us to generate a knowledge translation product that gave the care team specific interventions that can be used in their everyday practice to improve the overall quality of life of their clients. Benefits and considerations included in the notebook present a variety of interventions that can be used in this setting. The ease and efficiency of the notebook’s use was evaluated by Gilliland and the rehabilitation team with a survey. To ensure a more holistic perspective for occupational therapy practitioners (OTPs) when considering interventions, future recommendations are to include quality of life outcomes in diagnosis-specific populations such as Alzheimer’s and dementia for a broader scope, create a deeper and more defined understanding of a client’s transition experience into long term care, and utilize a more standardized assessment for measuring quality of life.

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