Award Date


Degree Type

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate


Brain Health

First Committee Member

Donnamarie Krause

Second Committee Member

Jefferson Kinney

Number of Pages



Occupational therapists (OTs) have an essential role in the treatment of upper extremity Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) in outpatient therapy settings. Occupational therapy (OT) guidelines and research focus treatment on the Budapest Criteria’s biological signs and symptoms. The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) now recognizes CRPS as a primary chronic pain condition and not an autonomic disorder, as it was thought to be in the past. This recognition, along with the psychological and social impacts of the condition, highlight the need for updated OT treatment interventions incorporating a biopsychosocial model. Combining evidence-based CRPS OT interventions for signs and symptoms with current research-based, psychosocial treatments for chronic pain management provides a more comprehensive treatment approach for people with CRPS. Additionally, this aligns with the OT profession’s commitment to the “whole-person” approach to treatment.

This culminating paper describes the background, need, research, justification, and journey for developing the capstone project. The capstone project itself is a pilot manuscript, with details in an outline format in the appendices, developed for OTs to guide their treatment of upper extremity CRPS in an outpatient setting. The manuscript is based on the most up-todate research available at the time of publishing for CRPS and chronic pain management. It provides pertinent goals, assessments, and an 8-week biopsychosocial treatment intervention plan to be utilized in conjunction with clinical reasoning skills.

Controlled Subject

Occupational therapy; Pain--Treatment


Occupational Therapy

File Format


File Size

666 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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