Project Type

URC Presentation

College or School


Class Year



Occupational Therapy


Occupational Therapy

Faculty Research Advisor

Vidya Sundar


Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that affects over 27 million Americans (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, 2014). Joint replacement surgery is often recommended for patients who do not respond to conventional medical treatment. Post-surgical rehabilitation, especially occupational therapy (OT), promotes recovery in patients with osteoarthritis. Occupational therapy intervention is aimed at improving one’s ability to function independently in various environments and complete basic tasks of everyday life, such as eating, bathing, shopping, driving, and preparing food. While such tasks may seem mundane for some, others faced with debilitating conditions struggle to complete them without assistance. For individuals with osteoarthritis, social and environmental factors, including the social environment, the physical home environment, and the physical community environment influence recovery from hip and knee joint replacement surgery. However, these factors are not always considered in OT intervention. This study examines the influence of these three factors among older adults age 50-80 years who have had a recent hip or joint knee replacement surgery. The purpose of this study is to understand the role of the social and physical environments during post-surgical rehabilitation.