Importance: Insufficient sleep is common among children seeking occupational therapy services but is rarely a focus of therapy despite sleep’s critical impact on health.

Objective: To examine pediatric occupational therapists’ experiences, views, and confidence in addressing sleep concerns in their practice as well as barriers to and supports for doing so.

Design: A qualitative descriptive study with thematic analysis of data from 1-hr virtual interviews. Rapport building, multiple-coder analysis, and member checking were used to ensure reliability and validity.

Setting: Interviews were conducted remotely at each participant’s preferred time and location.

Participants: Pediatric occupational therapists (N = 20) practicing across multiple settings in the United States were recruited through emails directed to their place of work and social media posts. A goal of 20 participants was set a priori with the goal of thematic saturation.

Outcomes and Measures: A semistructured interview guide.

Results: Participants were predominately cisgender (95%), female (85%), and White, non-Hispanic (90%). Overall, they voiced the importance of sleep but reported almost never writing sleep-related goals. Reported barriers that affected the participants’ ability to fully address sleep in practice included therapists’ lack of confidence and knowledge and low caregiver buy-in.

Conclusions and Relevance: The findings identify themes on the basis of which actionable steps toward promoting occupational therapists as sleep champions can be developed. Future implications include increasing sleep education opportunities, enhancing awareness of sleep health’s impact on goal areas, and facilitating discussions about occupational therapy’s role within the medical system and family system in supporting sleep.

Plain-Language Summary: This qualitative study identifies what helps and hinders occupational therapists in addressing the sleep health concerns of their clients. We give occupational therapy clinicians and educators key supports to seek out or barriers to address.

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