Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Health Sciences


Rehabilitation Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Camille Skubik-Peplaski

Second Advisor

Dr. Matthew Hoch


Military missions and operations expose warfighters to stressful and demanding situations and dynamic environments. These situations and environments require that warfighters have optimal performance in several dimensions of human performance, such as cognitive and physical performance. Military readiness is the potential these military units or personnel have to successfully deploy and sustain assigned operational missions worldwide. Military readiness is essential for increased physical and cognitive performance, ensuring augmented individual and unit effectiveness, lethality, and national security. The primary challenge is understanding and finding ways to measure and assess the cognitive, behavioral, and physical performance effects of complex and challenging environments on different individuals. Although readiness is a way to measure the potential ability of warfighters for optimal performance required to meet standards and requirements of missions, it is difficult to quantify. Also, understanding factors that affect human performance when trying to develop, increase, and sustain readiness, such as chronic pain, is essential. Pain unequivocally has a profound impact on readiness, attrition, and disability in military personnel. Therefore, the purpose of this dissertation was to 1) investigate occupational therapists' beliefs and experiences managing chronic pain and effectiveness in supporting clients’ wellness and occupational performance, 2) determine the relationship between self-perceived readiness, cognitive readiness, and physical and perceptual-cognitive performance in physically healthy and active young adults 3) through mixed methods determine if self-perceived readiness is correlated with cognitive and physical performance during the dual-task protocol, determine if self-perceived readiness is related to changes in perceptual-cognitive control after the dual-task treadmill protocol, and explore the cadets' perception of their readiness for completing the physical and cognitive protocol. The findings of this dissertation will provide additional insight into identifying assessment instruments and protocols that offer a generalized and clinically feasible way to quantify and assess cognitive and physical readiness that rehabilitation professionals can later individualize for specific units and military personnel.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

This research received funding from the Endowed University Professor in Health Sciences fund (Dr. Esther Dupont-Versteegden). Year 2023.

Available for download on Sunday, May 10, 2026