Title

Rethinking occupation in research and clinical practice: Joining people, places and meaning

Start Time

6-10-2012 10:25 AM

End Time

6-10-2012 11:55 AM

Session Type

Event

Abstract

Recent developments in occupational science conceptualise occupation and its relation to place in terms of dynamic processes rather than components and structures. It could be phrased as a move from what occupation is to how it works. There has been a simultaneous trend of challenging the view of occupation as residing within individuals. Combining these two developments, occupation may now be conceptualised as emerging from situations that encompass transactions of person, culture, environment, and more. The aim of this panel is to reflect and discuss the consequence of this shift for occupation-based research and practice. Based on the included papers we will argue for the need of a less individual and static conceptualisation of occupation and we will concider possible ways on how such shift of conceptualisation can be achieved.

The panel will include five papers: Sissel Alsaker will present research on enacted meaning using a narrative– in – action approach among women in Norway with chronic rheumatic condition. She will argue for how narrative – in – action might be an analytic resource to access occupation as ongoing processes rather than in terms of static characteristics. Maria Lindström will discuss based on her intervention research on persons with persistent mental illness, showing how the lack of a social conceptualisation of occupation can decrease the visibility of certain research results. Gunilla Isaksson will base her reasoning on a narrative study on how men living with women with spinal cord injury experienced and acted in the complex process of change they went through after the women’s injury and how support was acted among them and their social network. Rebecca Aldrich will discuss the relationship of process and occupation’s social nature, as exemplified by data on routines from ethnographic research on North Carolinian discouraged workers. Finally, Anneli Nyman will demonstrate drawing from an ongoing study on social processes of participation among elderly women with depression and using narrative analysis on interview data, how enacted togetherness can be a resource for occupation-based practice with persons under such conditions.

Discussion:

  1. Why is it important for occupational science research to rethink how we conceptualize occupation?
  2. What can a contextual, process-oriented and multifaceted conceptualisation of occupation mean in occupational science research as well as clinical practice?
  3. What are the consequences of such conceptualisations for how we measure and assess outcomes in research as well as in practice?

References

Aldrich, R. & Dickie, V. (In press) : “It’s hard to plan your day when you have no money”: Discouraged workers’ occupational possibilities and the need to reconceptualize routine. Work, A Journal of Prevention, Assessment, and Rehabilitation.

Alsaker, S. & Josephsson, S. (2010) Occupation and meaning : Narrative in everyday activities of women with chronic rheumatic conditions. OTJR – Occupation, Participation and Health, 30(2) , 58-67). http://dx.doi.org/10.3928/15394492-20100312-01

Lindström, M (2011) Promoting agency among people with severe psychiatric disability: occupation-oriented interventions in home and community settings. (Doctoral dissertation). Umeå University.

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Oct 6th, 10:25 AM Oct 6th, 11:55 AM

Rethinking occupation in research and clinical practice: Joining people, places and meaning

Recent developments in occupational science conceptualise occupation and its relation to place in terms of dynamic processes rather than components and structures. It could be phrased as a move from what occupation is to how it works. There has been a simultaneous trend of challenging the view of occupation as residing within individuals. Combining these two developments, occupation may now be conceptualised as emerging from situations that encompass transactions of person, culture, environment, and more. The aim of this panel is to reflect and discuss the consequence of this shift for occupation-based research and practice. Based on the included papers we will argue for the need of a less individual and static conceptualisation of occupation and we will concider possible ways on how such shift of conceptualisation can be achieved.

The panel will include five papers: Sissel Alsaker will present research on enacted meaning using a narrative– in – action approach among women in Norway with chronic rheumatic condition. She will argue for how narrative – in – action might be an analytic resource to access occupation as ongoing processes rather than in terms of static characteristics. Maria Lindström will discuss based on her intervention research on persons with persistent mental illness, showing how the lack of a social conceptualisation of occupation can decrease the visibility of certain research results. Gunilla Isaksson will base her reasoning on a narrative study on how men living with women with spinal cord injury experienced and acted in the complex process of change they went through after the women’s injury and how support was acted among them and their social network. Rebecca Aldrich will discuss the relationship of process and occupation’s social nature, as exemplified by data on routines from ethnographic research on North Carolinian discouraged workers. Finally, Anneli Nyman will demonstrate drawing from an ongoing study on social processes of participation among elderly women with depression and using narrative analysis on interview data, how enacted togetherness can be a resource for occupation-based practice with persons under such conditions.

Discussion:

  1. Why is it important for occupational science research to rethink how we conceptualize occupation?
  2. What can a contextual, process-oriented and multifaceted conceptualisation of occupation mean in occupational science research as well as clinical practice?
  3. What are the consequences of such conceptualisations for how we measure and assess outcomes in research as well as in practice?