Title

Occupation Emerges in the Process of Therapy

Start Time

15-10-2009 2:00 PM

End Time

15-10-2009 3:30 PM

Abstract

In this constantly evolving health care climate, there is great need for examples that enable occupational therapists to strengthen their occupation-based approaches. Researchers have demonstrated that occupation-based approaches yield outcomes that may be more potent and meaningful than outcomes of treatment that focus on function solely. There are various perspectives of occupation-based practice in current literature, including a transactional approach in which occupational development is promoted by engaging the individual in occupations within natural contexts, and alternately, employing an array of therapeutic procedures and activities in different contexts including natural and biomedical contexts. Findings from a study of peernominated, occupation-based therapists and occupational therapists considered specialists in their settings who may or may not be occupation-based offer a more complex view of occupation-based practice. The author will present findings collected with nine therapists from a range of settings: intensive care, community-based after school club, hospital-based inpatient and outpatient clinics, and community-based outpatient rehabilitation. Data were collected through in-depth observations and semistructured interviews with each therapist and each client, including mothers, working together over the course of service. Narrative micro-analysis was employed to examine approaches that illuminate occupation as an idea within and across cases. Findings suggest that best practices occur when therapists skillfully select and create the conditions that will provide the just right social and physical challenge and optimize therapeutic change, including procedures, activities, occupations, and social and physical features in the environment. Occupation-based practices facilitate future occupational outcome goals and the client’s social-emotional adaptation. Occupation-based aspects of practice are situated in and created by therapeutic use of self and the therapeutic process. Forms of occupation often look different in acute settings than in community-based settings. For example, in biomedical settings, occupation often emerges in the more abstract narrative meanings that are generated in and through the therapy process about who the person is becoming as an occupational being in the social world. Strategies to promote generalization from biomedical settings with adults include facilitating problem solving and with children, promoting parents to scaffold their children’s competencies into their natural contexts. The authors will promote discussion about how this analysis will contribute to theory development in occupational science regarding how occupation emerges in practice and ways to translate this research within occupational therapy practice.

References

Gray, J. M. (1998). Putting occupation into practice: Occupation as ends, occupation as means. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 52, 354-364.

Humphry, R., & Wakeford, L. (2006). An occupation-centered discussion of development and implications for practice. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 60, 258-267. DOI: 10.5014/ajot.60.3.258

Jackson, J. (1998). The value of occupation as the core of treatment: Sandy’s experience. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 52, 466-473.

Price, P., & Miner, S. (2007). Occupation emerges in the process of therapy. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 61(4), 441-450. DOI: 10.5014/ajot.61.4.441

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Oct 15th, 2:00 PM Oct 15th, 3:30 PM

Occupation Emerges in the Process of Therapy

In this constantly evolving health care climate, there is great need for examples that enable occupational therapists to strengthen their occupation-based approaches. Researchers have demonstrated that occupation-based approaches yield outcomes that may be more potent and meaningful than outcomes of treatment that focus on function solely. There are various perspectives of occupation-based practice in current literature, including a transactional approach in which occupational development is promoted by engaging the individual in occupations within natural contexts, and alternately, employing an array of therapeutic procedures and activities in different contexts including natural and biomedical contexts. Findings from a study of peernominated, occupation-based therapists and occupational therapists considered specialists in their settings who may or may not be occupation-based offer a more complex view of occupation-based practice. The author will present findings collected with nine therapists from a range of settings: intensive care, community-based after school club, hospital-based inpatient and outpatient clinics, and community-based outpatient rehabilitation. Data were collected through in-depth observations and semistructured interviews with each therapist and each client, including mothers, working together over the course of service. Narrative micro-analysis was employed to examine approaches that illuminate occupation as an idea within and across cases. Findings suggest that best practices occur when therapists skillfully select and create the conditions that will provide the just right social and physical challenge and optimize therapeutic change, including procedures, activities, occupations, and social and physical features in the environment. Occupation-based practices facilitate future occupational outcome goals and the client’s social-emotional adaptation. Occupation-based aspects of practice are situated in and created by therapeutic use of self and the therapeutic process. Forms of occupation often look different in acute settings than in community-based settings. For example, in biomedical settings, occupation often emerges in the more abstract narrative meanings that are generated in and through the therapy process about who the person is becoming as an occupational being in the social world. Strategies to promote generalization from biomedical settings with adults include facilitating problem solving and with children, promoting parents to scaffold their children’s competencies into their natural contexts. The authors will promote discussion about how this analysis will contribute to theory development in occupational science regarding how occupation emerges in practice and ways to translate this research within occupational therapy practice.