Doris Pierce

Doris Pierce, Ph.D., OTR/L, FAOTA is Eastern Kentucky University’s Endowed Chair

in Occupational Therapy. She has been a pediatric therapist for 35 years and is an

internationally known researcher, theoretician, and visionary within occupational science.

She has persuasively argued in print for the importance of sleep as a foundational

occupation to all other daily experiences over the last 20 years. She has keynoted in

Ireland, France, Japan, and throughout the United States. Her textbooks in print include

Occupation by Design and Occupational Science for Occupational Therapy. Her most

recent research used mixed methods to describe and document highly significant life skill

outcomes of occupational therapy transition services to secondary students with

disabilities. Dr. Pierce has also completed extensive qualitative research, including

internationally comparative research on elder women’s leadership of annual holiday food

traditions in Kentucky, Thailand, and New Zealand. Her teaching focuses on design

process and occupational science. Dr. Pierce is a wife and the mother of an occupational

therapist. Her favorite leisure occupations are singing, writing, sleeping, and party


Sleep related publications:

Pierce, D. (2012).  Promise.  Journal of Occupational Science, 19(4), 298-311. doi:10.1080/14427591.2012.667778


Pierce, D., & Summers, K. (2011).  Sleep: An exciting new frontier in occupation-based practice.  In T. Brown and V. Stoeffel (Eds.), Occupational therapy in mental health: A vision for participation (pp. 736-754). Philadelphia: F. A. Davis.  (new edition in press)


Pierce, D. (2001).  Occupation by design: Dimensions, creativity, and therapeutic power.  American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 55, 249-259.


Howell, D., & Pierce, D. (2000).  Exploring the forgotten restorative dimension of occupation: Quilt use and quilting.  Journal of Occupational Science, 7, 68-72.