Poster Session - The Janus Dilemma: Occupational Science-Occupational Therapy Symbiosis in the Context of Immigrant Adaptation Research

Author #1
Author #2

Abstract

Keywords: Occupational science, occupational therapy, epistemology.

Background: The impetus for this presentation is to examine the epistemological tension we experienced as we conducted research on the adaptation of immigrants, between the current conceptualization of the emerging discipline of occupational science (OS) and the evidence available to inform occupational therapy practice (OT) with this diverse population.

Intent: Our goal, using illustrations from our research and practice work with immigrants, is to propose that, even when no implication for practice is explicitly mentioned in OS research, there is an undeniable link with OT. That bond is apparent both in the type of research questions asked in OS and in the methodology most commonly used to answer those questions. We intend to show that it is in the best interest for both OS and OT to acknowledge that they share the same corpus.

Argument: The ontogeny of OS is closely tied to OT (Pierce, 2012). The scope of OS is not just the understanding of the nature and meaning of occupation but, very importantly, its link to health. Both OT and OS are grounded in the philosophical belief linking “doing” to well-being. When interviewing our immigrants, theoretical considerations and questions asked were guided by that scope of OS, which we knew would also inform OT practice with this population. Had we not held the OT perspective, our approach wouldn’t have been the same, as our focus wouldn’t have been health implications. The methodologies used were also colored by the realization that in working with multicultural populations, we couldn’t rely on research techniques requiring homogeneous samples. Studies have shown that highly controlled quantitative studies (currently favored in OT) may not be useful in informing clinical practice with heterogeneous clients because they tend to limit their inclusion in their research so as to increase statistical power (Stronks et al. 2013). The variety of theories and mixed methodologies currently favored in OS are valuable in informing the highly contextual and conditional clinical decision-making process with diverse populations (Nevo, 2011).

Conclusion: OS studies, which emphasize context and meaning, should be explicitly informing OT because, like practice, they are transactional. OS and OT will be mutually strengthened if they move forward as a two-headed Janus.

Importance to Occupational Science: Our analysis is intended to help OS define its identity.

 
Oct 16th, 6:00 PM Oct 16th, 9:00 PM

Poster Session - The Janus Dilemma: Occupational Science-Occupational Therapy Symbiosis in the Context of Immigrant Adaptation Research

Winter Garden

Keywords: Occupational science, occupational therapy, epistemology.

Background: The impetus for this presentation is to examine the epistemological tension we experienced as we conducted research on the adaptation of immigrants, between the current conceptualization of the emerging discipline of occupational science (OS) and the evidence available to inform occupational therapy practice (OT) with this diverse population.

Intent: Our goal, using illustrations from our research and practice work with immigrants, is to propose that, even when no implication for practice is explicitly mentioned in OS research, there is an undeniable link with OT. That bond is apparent both in the type of research questions asked in OS and in the methodology most commonly used to answer those questions. We intend to show that it is in the best interest for both OS and OT to acknowledge that they share the same corpus.

Argument: The ontogeny of OS is closely tied to OT (Pierce, 2012). The scope of OS is not just the understanding of the nature and meaning of occupation but, very importantly, its link to health. Both OT and OS are grounded in the philosophical belief linking “doing” to well-being. When interviewing our immigrants, theoretical considerations and questions asked were guided by that scope of OS, which we knew would also inform OT practice with this population. Had we not held the OT perspective, our approach wouldn’t have been the same, as our focus wouldn’t have been health implications. The methodologies used were also colored by the realization that in working with multicultural populations, we couldn’t rely on research techniques requiring homogeneous samples. Studies have shown that highly controlled quantitative studies (currently favored in OT) may not be useful in informing clinical practice with heterogeneous clients because they tend to limit their inclusion in their research so as to increase statistical power (Stronks et al. 2013). The variety of theories and mixed methodologies currently favored in OS are valuable in informing the highly contextual and conditional clinical decision-making process with diverse populations (Nevo, 2011).

Conclusion: OS studies, which emphasize context and meaning, should be explicitly informing OT because, like practice, they are transactional. OS and OT will be mutually strengthened if they move forward as a two-headed Janus.

Importance to Occupational Science: Our analysis is intended to help OS define its identity.