Date of Paper/Work


Type of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Occupational Therapy


Occupational Science/Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Karen Sames


Occupational Therapy


This study investigated what employee benefits managers know about occupational therapy and the influence they have on employees’ knowledge of, and access to, occupational therapy services. This qualitative research focused on what employee benefits managers know about occupational therapy, how they learned what they know, how they prefer to learn about healthcare services in general, and the reasons they would or would not recommend occupational therapy services to their employees. The study included ten semi-structured interviews with ten employee benefits managers who were employed at nine different organizations. The interviews were coded and analyzed to develop categories and themes in accordance with grounded theory principles. Four primary results emerged from the data. The participants had little or no knowledge of occupational therapy. They learned about occupational therapy through informal, inconsistent methods while at their current job. The participants’ preferred sources for healthcare related information; benefits brokers, seminars/webinars, and employee benefits manager-related organizations, had not provided them with any education on occupational therapy. The participants consistently reported that employee benefits managers could influence what their employees know about occupational therapy and employee access to occupational therapy services, but they did not know enough about occupational therapy to discuss it with employees. These findings can help guide future research, education, and advocacy efforts to improve stakeholders’ knowledge of occupational therapy and the ability for potential clients to learn about and access occupational therapy services.