Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Occupational Therapy (M.S.)

Degree Program

Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Kelly Machnik

Academic Year



The purpose of this study is aimed to explore the structure and utilization details of occupational therapy in outpatient behavioral health settings. Two occupational therapists participated in qualitative phenomenological interviews which were transcribed and analyzed using the thematic approach. A total of two themes emerged: billing and coverage, and education and advocacy. Participants identified there are necessary factors for reimbursement of services, in addition to the need for education and advocacy for occupational therapists to practice in outpatient behavioral health settings. Future research should be aimed at recruiting more participants, occupational therapists, and from other roles in these clinics such as credentialing coordinators and office managers for a broader perspective of the structure of occupational therapy services in outpatient behavioral health settings.