Title

Creating occupational space and occupational place: How the context of home modifications can be driven by Occupational Science

Start Time

5-10-2012 1:35 PM

End Time

5-10-2012 2:05 PM

Session Type

Event

Abstract

This paper describes the means in which occupational therapists modify and create occupational space in their client’s homes to foster the opportunity for occupational place. Drawing from Tuan’s work on space and place (1977), Hasselkus (1998, 2011) describes occupational space as adapted environments and contexts in which occupations can occur. Occupational place is then created “during the engagement in occupation” (Hasselkus, 1998, p. 431). Occupational therapists engaged in home modifications do more than assess a structure’s door widths, bathroom faucets and throw-rugs. From phenomenological interviews with occupational therapists and video-recorded evaluation observations, findings demonstrate the underlying drive in providing home modifications services to create occupational space – modifying existing environments of personal meaning for continued use within the context of disability. Eight therapists from three regions of the country engaged in multiple interviews, and four local therapists were observed and video-recorded during a home / client evaluation. The data were analyzed initially through constant comparison thematic development, then through narrative analysis to explore the individual therapist’s experiences. The research team met weekly for interview peer debriefing and analysis of data. Four participants checked the findings for authenticity. The therapists in this study describe their role in terms of finding the clients “many meanings” of not only their home, but of their daily occupations. Coming to understand how the client engages in occupation is a critical process in the overarching home evaluation. The construct of place as experienced by homeowners with disabilities has been well articulated in recent work (e.g. Vrkljan, Leuty, & Law, 2011). However, how the therapist fosters occupational place is not well understood.

Discussion questions:

  1. How can occupational science influence therapists to focus their home modification service to create occupational space?
  2. Is it necessary to have occupation and context achieve confluence to create occupational place?

References

Hasselkus, B. R. (2011). The meaning of everyday occupation, 2nd ed. Thorofare, NJ: Slack Publishing.

Hasselkus, B. R. (1998). Occupation and well-being in dementia: The experience of day-care staff. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 52, 423-434. http://dx.doi.org/10.5014/ajot.52.6.423

Tuan, Y-F. (1977). Space and place: The perspective of experience. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Vrkljan, B., Leuty, V., & Law, M. (2011). Aging-in-place: Exploring the transactional relationship between habits and participation in a community context. OTJR: Occupation, Participation, and Health, 31, 151-159. http://dx.doi.org/10.3928/15394492-20110218-01

Comments

Research paper

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Oct 5th, 1:35 PM Oct 5th, 2:05 PM

Creating occupational space and occupational place: How the context of home modifications can be driven by Occupational Science

This paper describes the means in which occupational therapists modify and create occupational space in their client’s homes to foster the opportunity for occupational place. Drawing from Tuan’s work on space and place (1977), Hasselkus (1998, 2011) describes occupational space as adapted environments and contexts in which occupations can occur. Occupational place is then created “during the engagement in occupation” (Hasselkus, 1998, p. 431). Occupational therapists engaged in home modifications do more than assess a structure’s door widths, bathroom faucets and throw-rugs. From phenomenological interviews with occupational therapists and video-recorded evaluation observations, findings demonstrate the underlying drive in providing home modifications services to create occupational space – modifying existing environments of personal meaning for continued use within the context of disability. Eight therapists from three regions of the country engaged in multiple interviews, and four local therapists were observed and video-recorded during a home / client evaluation. The data were analyzed initially through constant comparison thematic development, then through narrative analysis to explore the individual therapist’s experiences. The research team met weekly for interview peer debriefing and analysis of data. Four participants checked the findings for authenticity. The therapists in this study describe their role in terms of finding the clients “many meanings” of not only their home, but of their daily occupations. Coming to understand how the client engages in occupation is a critical process in the overarching home evaluation. The construct of place as experienced by homeowners with disabilities has been well articulated in recent work (e.g. Vrkljan, Leuty, & Law, 2011). However, how the therapist fosters occupational place is not well understood.

Discussion questions:

  1. How can occupational science influence therapists to focus their home modification service to create occupational space?
  2. Is it necessary to have occupation and context achieve confluence to create occupational place?