Title

Occupational Engagement in the Community: A Graduate Project Experience

Location

Room A

Start Time

18-10-2013 3:40 PM

End Time

18-10-2013 5:10 PM

Session Type

Panel

Abstract

This panel will feature four research based graduate projects designed to facilitate student knowledge of occupational engagement and enhance occupational participation of community based populations. The session will begin with an introduction to an innovative graduate project design that may be replicated in order to enhance the bridge between occupational science and occupational therapy practice. Following an outline of the model, four examples of projects will be presented, along with project design, outcomes, and key learning points for future implementation.

The first paper is a Karen refugee project which applies community based participatory action research (CBPR) tenets and a phenomenological approach to explore habit and routine changes experienced by newly arrived refugees with low literacy in their language of origin. This approach uses a recursive model that fosters collaboration and acknowledges power differentials (Israel et al., 2008). Students assess personal beliefs and values and identify habit and routine changes. The desired outcome is design of interventions that meet learning objectives identified by the collaborating group, and ultimately work to manualize those interventions that support empowerment and acculturation of a marginalized, occupationally deprived population.

Papers two and three emphasize occupation based practice, the first of which will present on a program developed in working with at-risk preschool children in a community based inner-city child care facility. The center is located in a metropolitan area known for generational poverty, racial tension, and poor student educational outcomes. The PEO model (Law et al., 1996) and tenets of Participatory Action Research (Cockburn & Trentham, 2002) were used to guide occupational therapy students in addressing the occupation of handwriting within the preschool classroom. Students identified micro and macro influences within the environment and child, and used a co-teaching model to increase occupational participation of both the children and teachers.

The third paper will present the development of occupation based practice among occupational therapy students working with a school for immigrant adaptation. This metropolitan area school’s purpose is to build literacy and citizenship skills in a supportive, affordable and respectful environment. Principles of Participatory Action Research (PAR) described by Cockburn and Trentham (2002) were used as occupational therapy students learned how to apply occupation based practice expanding existing programming and community resources for immigrant students and staff. Opportunities in influencing the traditional model of teaching with an occupational perspective to immigrant enculturation will be described.

The final paper focuses on Patton’s (2008) Utilization-Focused Evaluation, a methodology designed to provide a research approach to program evaluation and development. The method was chosen as it takes into account context, ethics, and socio-political factors within all phases of the process (Patton, 2008; Ward et al., 2011). Students identified emerging practice areas and located corresponding sites that work with underserved populations in order to enhance population-based occupational participation in the community. Data from four sites, the needs assessment, project development, evaluation, transformative learning outcomes, and implications for occupational science will be discussed.

References

Cockburn, L., & Trentham, B. (2002). Participatory action research: Integrating community occupational therapy practice and research. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 69(1), 20-30

Israel, B. A., Schulz, A. J., Parker, E. A., Becker, A. B., Allen III, A. J., & Guzman, R. (2008). Critical issues in developing and following CBPR Principles. In M. Minkler and N. Wallerstein (Eds.). Community-based participatory research for health: From process to outcomes (2nded.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Law, M., Cooper, B., Strong, S., Stewart, D., Rigby, P., & Letts, L. (1996). The person environment-occupation model: A transactive approach to occupational performance. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 63(1), 9-23.

Patton, M. Q. (2008). Utilization-focused evaluation (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Ward, K. J., Maher, E. J., Marcynyszyn, L. A., Ellis, M. L., Pecora, P. J. (2011). Context Matters: Real world utilization-focused evaluation strategies to support change and Improvement in child welfare. Child Welfare Journal, 90, 29-47.

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Oct 18th, 3:40 PM Oct 18th, 5:10 PM

Occupational Engagement in the Community: A Graduate Project Experience

Room A

This panel will feature four research based graduate projects designed to facilitate student knowledge of occupational engagement and enhance occupational participation of community based populations. The session will begin with an introduction to an innovative graduate project design that may be replicated in order to enhance the bridge between occupational science and occupational therapy practice. Following an outline of the model, four examples of projects will be presented, along with project design, outcomes, and key learning points for future implementation.

The first paper is a Karen refugee project which applies community based participatory action research (CBPR) tenets and a phenomenological approach to explore habit and routine changes experienced by newly arrived refugees with low literacy in their language of origin. This approach uses a recursive model that fosters collaboration and acknowledges power differentials (Israel et al., 2008). Students assess personal beliefs and values and identify habit and routine changes. The desired outcome is design of interventions that meet learning objectives identified by the collaborating group, and ultimately work to manualize those interventions that support empowerment and acculturation of a marginalized, occupationally deprived population.

Papers two and three emphasize occupation based practice, the first of which will present on a program developed in working with at-risk preschool children in a community based inner-city child care facility. The center is located in a metropolitan area known for generational poverty, racial tension, and poor student educational outcomes. The PEO model (Law et al., 1996) and tenets of Participatory Action Research (Cockburn & Trentham, 2002) were used to guide occupational therapy students in addressing the occupation of handwriting within the preschool classroom. Students identified micro and macro influences within the environment and child, and used a co-teaching model to increase occupational participation of both the children and teachers.

The third paper will present the development of occupation based practice among occupational therapy students working with a school for immigrant adaptation. This metropolitan area school’s purpose is to build literacy and citizenship skills in a supportive, affordable and respectful environment. Principles of Participatory Action Research (PAR) described by Cockburn and Trentham (2002) were used as occupational therapy students learned how to apply occupation based practice expanding existing programming and community resources for immigrant students and staff. Opportunities in influencing the traditional model of teaching with an occupational perspective to immigrant enculturation will be described.

The final paper focuses on Patton’s (2008) Utilization-Focused Evaluation, a methodology designed to provide a research approach to program evaluation and development. The method was chosen as it takes into account context, ethics, and socio-political factors within all phases of the process (Patton, 2008; Ward et al., 2011). Students identified emerging practice areas and located corresponding sites that work with underserved populations in order to enhance population-based occupational participation in the community. Data from four sites, the needs assessment, project development, evaluation, transformative learning outcomes, and implications for occupational science will be discussed.