Title

Using OS to “Tighten” the Linkage between Philosophy, Theory, Research, Education and Practice

Location

Room D

Start Time

18-10-2013 12:10 PM

End Time

18-10-2013 12:40 PM

Session Type

Theoretical Paper

Abstract

Background & Rationale: OS was proposed as a basic science and academic discipline (Yerxa, Clark, Frank, Jackson, Parham, Pierce, Stein, & Zemke, 1989). While acknowledging those purposes, my contention is they are insufficient to provide a broader, more inclusive, understanding and rationale for advancing occupation in terms of philosophical argument, theory and concept development, research study design and application to education and practice. In other words we need to strengthen and “tighten” the organization to improve the dissemination of knowledge about occupation.

Statement of intent: To suggest that OS can be reorganized to strengthen or “tighten” the linkage to philosophy, theory, research, education and practice regarding the use of occupation as a central theme. New and redesigned “tools” exist to bring the now scattered information about occupation together into a more cohesive whole.

Argument: To better direct our future, the study of and education about occupation needs a world view and meta-theory which can unify and organize our diverse concepts and ideas. Overton and Ennis (2006) have suggested that Pepper’s four world hypotheses (1942) be combined into two metatheories: split (mechanism-formism) and relational (contextualism-organicism). Furthermore, the Kuhnian idea that theoretical assumptions and concepts cannot cross over an arbitrary divide needs to be rethought in a practice discipline which currently uses five different intervention ideas: promote restore, maintain, modify and prevent (OTPF, 2008). Whyte and Burett (2012) suggested two major intervention approaches: treatment theory (remedial/restorative) and enablement theory (adaptive/modify). Should maintain be added to treatment and promote and prevent be added to enablement? Research design theory is already organized into two major traditions: quantitative and qualitative. Based on Overton & Ennis’s work the two meta-theories would be translated into two pathways: splint-treatment-quantitative-remedial and relational-enablement-qualitative-adaptive which while different, are also complimentary. Both can serve to streamline the study and teaching about occupation, occupational beings, and occupational therapy.

To encourage inclusion, our concepts need to be viewed not as polar opposites but as a continuum with a preferred direction. An example is reductionism traditionally rejected by OS. In reorganizing our view, reductionism appears on one end of a continuum while holism appears at the other with a preferred direction toward holism to facilitate engagement in occupation. However, we would acknowledge reductionism may facilitate early assessment and intervention in medically defined disorders. Such a “tolerance” also facilitates studying some concepts through quantitative or mixed research methods.

Conclusion: We cannot afford to “waste” recognized theory, research and practice ideas because they do not currently “fit” into our world view of occupation. We need to integrate (a central concept in both organicism and mechanism) our view to focus on maximizing our efforts toward advancing our goal of making the study of occupation and application of occupational therapy broadly recognized and evidence-based in both education and practice.

Importance to OS: OS can be expanded to better advantage to create a more cogent and complete rationale and argument for the role and purpose of occupation in the lives of occupational beings and in occupational therapy. Using the proposed dual pathways we can provide a “tighter” linkage to explain and educate about occupation in both theoretical and applied contexts.

Key Words: Occupational science, Theory construction, Education and Practice

Learning objectives:

  • Define four world hypotheses (mechanism, formism, contextualism and organicism) and two meta-theories (split and relational) and briefly describe their relationship to OS
  • Explain the historical and current linkage between philosophy, theory, research, education and practice to OS
  • Illustrate how OS can be redesigned to follow the linkage and strengthen the concept of occupation

References

AOTA (2008a). Occupational therapy practice framework: Domain & process -2nd ed. AJOT, 62(6), 625-683

Overton, W.F., & Ennis, M.D. (2006). Cognitive-development and behavior-analytic theories: Evolving into complementarity. Human Development, 69, 143-172.

Pepper, S.C. (1942). World hypotheses. Berkley, CA: University of California Press.

Whyte, J. & Burett, A.M. (2012). Advancing the evidence base of rehabilitation treatments: A developmental approach. Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 93(Suppl 2), S101-S110.

Yerxa, E.J., Clark, F., Frank, G., Jackson, J., Parham, D., Pierce, D., Stein, C., & Zemke, R. (1989). An introduction to occupational science. Occupational Therapy in Health Care, 6, 1-17.

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Oct 18th, 12:10 PM Oct 18th, 12:40 PM

Using OS to “Tighten” the Linkage between Philosophy, Theory, Research, Education and Practice

Room D

Background & Rationale: OS was proposed as a basic science and academic discipline (Yerxa, Clark, Frank, Jackson, Parham, Pierce, Stein, & Zemke, 1989). While acknowledging those purposes, my contention is they are insufficient to provide a broader, more inclusive, understanding and rationale for advancing occupation in terms of philosophical argument, theory and concept development, research study design and application to education and practice. In other words we need to strengthen and “tighten” the organization to improve the dissemination of knowledge about occupation.

Statement of intent: To suggest that OS can be reorganized to strengthen or “tighten” the linkage to philosophy, theory, research, education and practice regarding the use of occupation as a central theme. New and redesigned “tools” exist to bring the now scattered information about occupation together into a more cohesive whole.

Argument: To better direct our future, the study of and education about occupation needs a world view and meta-theory which can unify and organize our diverse concepts and ideas. Overton and Ennis (2006) have suggested that Pepper’s four world hypotheses (1942) be combined into two metatheories: split (mechanism-formism) and relational (contextualism-organicism). Furthermore, the Kuhnian idea that theoretical assumptions and concepts cannot cross over an arbitrary divide needs to be rethought in a practice discipline which currently uses five different intervention ideas: promote restore, maintain, modify and prevent (OTPF, 2008). Whyte and Burett (2012) suggested two major intervention approaches: treatment theory (remedial/restorative) and enablement theory (adaptive/modify). Should maintain be added to treatment and promote and prevent be added to enablement? Research design theory is already organized into two major traditions: quantitative and qualitative. Based on Overton & Ennis’s work the two meta-theories would be translated into two pathways: splint-treatment-quantitative-remedial and relational-enablement-qualitative-adaptive which while different, are also complimentary. Both can serve to streamline the study and teaching about occupation, occupational beings, and occupational therapy.

To encourage inclusion, our concepts need to be viewed not as polar opposites but as a continuum with a preferred direction. An example is reductionism traditionally rejected by OS. In reorganizing our view, reductionism appears on one end of a continuum while holism appears at the other with a preferred direction toward holism to facilitate engagement in occupation. However, we would acknowledge reductionism may facilitate early assessment and intervention in medically defined disorders. Such a “tolerance” also facilitates studying some concepts through quantitative or mixed research methods.

Conclusion: We cannot afford to “waste” recognized theory, research and practice ideas because they do not currently “fit” into our world view of occupation. We need to integrate (a central concept in both organicism and mechanism) our view to focus on maximizing our efforts toward advancing our goal of making the study of occupation and application of occupational therapy broadly recognized and evidence-based in both education and practice.

Importance to OS: OS can be expanded to better advantage to create a more cogent and complete rationale and argument for the role and purpose of occupation in the lives of occupational beings and in occupational therapy. Using the proposed dual pathways we can provide a “tighter” linkage to explain and educate about occupation in both theoretical and applied contexts.

Key Words: Occupational science, Theory construction, Education and Practice

Learning objectives:

  • Define four world hypotheses (mechanism, formism, contextualism and organicism) and two meta-theories (split and relational) and briefly describe their relationship to OS
  • Explain the historical and current linkage between philosophy, theory, research, education and practice to OS
  • Illustrate how OS can be redesigned to follow the linkage and strengthen the concept of occupation