Title

Occupational Therapy Practice Informed by Occupational Science: Gerontological Application in the Guatemalan NAPA-OT Field School

Start Time

14-10-2009 7:00 PM

End Time

14-10-2009 9:00 PM

Abstract

Introduction: U.S. colleagues in occupational science/occupational therapy, medical anthropology, and disability studies developed a six-week field school to enable faculty and students to refine the interplay of disciplines in collaborative research and occupational therapy practice within Guatemalan culture. Theories of social and occupational justice within a life course perspective direct and integrate the three components of the field school: Neonatal Assessment and Early Child Development, Disability Studies, and Community-Based Gerontology. The poster will focus on the gerontology component. Objectives: Describe the mission, vision and curriculum of this innovative interdisciplinary, international field school. Description: The 2009 Guatemalan Field School will have occurred by the time of the conference. In 2009 the Community-Based Gerontology Component, directed by a medical anthropologist and an occupational therapist, will include one anthropology doctoral student and five occupational therapy Master’s students. Students will take daily Spanish classes and participate in both research and practice with Guatemalan older adults. Their work, based primarily in a 70-bed residential care facility for frail aged, entails intensive data collection employing anthropological techniques (i.e., field observations, in-depth interviews, life histories, and needs-assessment surveys) to identify social groups, everyday activities and routines, resources, and perceived needs of residents and staff. This data, together with occupational science and occupational therapy resources will inform collaborations of students and faculty with facility staff in developing individual and group occupation-based interventions, site-appropriate programs, and new or enhanced collaborations with the existing health and political service systems. Students will also accompany local social workers on home visits to households of older adults to develop an understanding of elders’ roles within Guatemalan families. Discussion: Weekly seminars with the entire field school faculty, student body, and visiting Guatemalan scholars will allow students to discuss their ongoing work using theories of social and occupational justice within a life course perspective. Conclusion: The combination of research and practice immersed in the daily lives of Guatemalan older adults and informed by practicing scholars in occupational science, occupational therapy, disability studies, and anthropology will provide a rare opportunity to advance interdisciplinary theory and practice within a multi-cultural setting. Contribution to practice: The hands-on interplay among disciplines should contribute to the expansion and enhancement of all the fields, with more nuanced perspectives on the political practice of occupational therapy.

References

Iwama, M. (2003) The issue is: Toward culturally relevant epistemologies in occupational Therapy. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 57(5), 582- 587. DOI: 10.5014/ajot.57.5.582

Pollard, N., & Sakellariou, D. (2007). Operationalizing community participation in community-based rehabilitation: Exploring the factors. Disability & Rehabilitation,30(1), 62-70. DOI: 10.1080/09638280701192980

Wilcock, A.A. (2001). Occupation for health. Vol. 1: A journey from self health to prescription. London: British College of Occupational Therapists.

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Oct 14th, 7:00 PM Oct 14th, 9:00 PM

Occupational Therapy Practice Informed by Occupational Science: Gerontological Application in the Guatemalan NAPA-OT Field School

Introduction: U.S. colleagues in occupational science/occupational therapy, medical anthropology, and disability studies developed a six-week field school to enable faculty and students to refine the interplay of disciplines in collaborative research and occupational therapy practice within Guatemalan culture. Theories of social and occupational justice within a life course perspective direct and integrate the three components of the field school: Neonatal Assessment and Early Child Development, Disability Studies, and Community-Based Gerontology. The poster will focus on the gerontology component. Objectives: Describe the mission, vision and curriculum of this innovative interdisciplinary, international field school. Description: The 2009 Guatemalan Field School will have occurred by the time of the conference. In 2009 the Community-Based Gerontology Component, directed by a medical anthropologist and an occupational therapist, will include one anthropology doctoral student and five occupational therapy Master’s students. Students will take daily Spanish classes and participate in both research and practice with Guatemalan older adults. Their work, based primarily in a 70-bed residential care facility for frail aged, entails intensive data collection employing anthropological techniques (i.e., field observations, in-depth interviews, life histories, and needs-assessment surveys) to identify social groups, everyday activities and routines, resources, and perceived needs of residents and staff. This data, together with occupational science and occupational therapy resources will inform collaborations of students and faculty with facility staff in developing individual and group occupation-based interventions, site-appropriate programs, and new or enhanced collaborations with the existing health and political service systems. Students will also accompany local social workers on home visits to households of older adults to develop an understanding of elders’ roles within Guatemalan families. Discussion: Weekly seminars with the entire field school faculty, student body, and visiting Guatemalan scholars will allow students to discuss their ongoing work using theories of social and occupational justice within a life course perspective. Conclusion: The combination of research and practice immersed in the daily lives of Guatemalan older adults and informed by practicing scholars in occupational science, occupational therapy, disability studies, and anthropology will provide a rare opportunity to advance interdisciplinary theory and practice within a multi-cultural setting. Contribution to practice: The hands-on interplay among disciplines should contribute to the expansion and enhancement of all the fields, with more nuanced perspectives on the political practice of occupational therapy.