Title

The importance of occupation in life course health-development: Shifting the paradigm in theory, research, and practice

1

Location

Great Room 1A & 1B

Start Time

20-10-2017 9:30 AM

End Time

20-10-2017 11:30 AM

Session Type

Forum

Abstract

Aims/Intent:

The intent of this forum is to share initial outcomes from an innovative interdisciplinary collaboration between occupational scientists and researchers in the field of maternal child health, focused on advancing theoretical understanding of the role that occupation plays in life course health-development. We will first provide an overview of the Life Course Health-Development (LCHD) model (Halfon & Hochstein, 2002; Halfon, et al., 2014; Halfon & Forrest, forthcoming), and then illustrate the relationships between this perspective and core constructs of occupational science through brief examples from our use of LCHD in the study of family occupation. Through these examples and by posing key questions, we aim to facilitate a critical discussion about the opportunities for occupational science to address disparities in life course health-development.

Rationale:

Occupation is an important determinant of life course health-development: when persons encounter barriers to participation in desired and necessary occupations, this contributes to decreased health, well-being, and quality of life (Madsen, et al., 2016; Gupta, et al., in press). We use illustrative examples to argue that occupational science has a vital role to play in health promotion and primary prevention, thereby contributing to public health initiatives such as reducing health inequities by working to lessen contextual barriers to health, well-being, and quality of life. Public health research, policy, and program development is guided by perspectives such as the LCHD model; therefore, it is important that theorists and scientists interested in occupational injustices and occupational potential are familiar with the applicability and relevance of the LCHD model to occupation.

Potential outcomes:

Forum participants will gain a clear understanding of the LCHD model and the 7 principles it employs to synthesize existing evidence regarding the relationship between early experience and lifelong health and well-being. Occupational science can inform understanding of disparities in life course health-development, and the use of the LCHD model to inform theory and research about occupation may assist in shifting the paradigm in the practice of occupational therapy towards situations of social injustice and inequality. Outcomes of this forum include furthering collaborations among occupational scientists and researchers in public health and related disciplines, particularly as they pertain to elucidating the link between occupation and LCHD theoretical frameworks, and identifying effective strategies for optimizing experiences during the early part of the life course when health and occupational trajectories are most amenable.

Questions/Objectives for discussion:

1. How may interdisciplinary collaborations, such as those between occupational science and public health, inform development of innovative theoretical perspectives that recognize occupation as a determinant of health and well-being?

2. What are the possible applications of the Life Course Health-Developmental (LCHD) model for the study of human occupation?

3. What is the role of occupational scientists in informing understanding of how occupational injustices contribute to health disparities and inequities over the life course?

Key words: life course health-development, occupational justice, theory development

References

Gupta, J., Lynch, A., Pitonyak, J., Rybski, D., & Taff, S. (in press). Enhancing occupational potential and health: Addressing early adversity and social exclusion using a life course health development approach. In N. Pollard., S. Kantartzis., & H. Van Bruggen (Eds.). Manifesto for occupational therapy: Occupation-based social inclusion. Whiting Birch, UK.

Halfon, N. & Hochstein, M. (2002). Life course health development: An integrated framework for developing health, policy, and research. The Milbank Quarterly, 80(3), 433-479.

Halfon, N., Larson, K., Lu, M., Tullis, E., & Russ, S. (2014). Lifecourse health development: past, present and future. Maternal and Child Health, 18(2):344-365.

Halfon, N. & Forrest, C.B. (forthcoming, Springer). The Emerging Theoretical Framework of Life Course Health Development. In Halfon N, Forrest CB, Lerner RM & Faustman E. (Eds.). The Handbook of Life Course Health-Development Science.

Madsen, J., Kanstrup, A.M. & Josephsson, S. (2016). The assumed relation between occupation and inequality in health. Scandanavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 23, 1-12.

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Oct 20th, 9:30 AM Oct 20th, 11:30 AM

The importance of occupation in life course health-development: Shifting the paradigm in theory, research, and practice

Great Room 1A & 1B

Aims/Intent:

The intent of this forum is to share initial outcomes from an innovative interdisciplinary collaboration between occupational scientists and researchers in the field of maternal child health, focused on advancing theoretical understanding of the role that occupation plays in life course health-development. We will first provide an overview of the Life Course Health-Development (LCHD) model (Halfon & Hochstein, 2002; Halfon, et al., 2014; Halfon & Forrest, forthcoming), and then illustrate the relationships between this perspective and core constructs of occupational science through brief examples from our use of LCHD in the study of family occupation. Through these examples and by posing key questions, we aim to facilitate a critical discussion about the opportunities for occupational science to address disparities in life course health-development.

Rationale:

Occupation is an important determinant of life course health-development: when persons encounter barriers to participation in desired and necessary occupations, this contributes to decreased health, well-being, and quality of life (Madsen, et al., 2016; Gupta, et al., in press). We use illustrative examples to argue that occupational science has a vital role to play in health promotion and primary prevention, thereby contributing to public health initiatives such as reducing health inequities by working to lessen contextual barriers to health, well-being, and quality of life. Public health research, policy, and program development is guided by perspectives such as the LCHD model; therefore, it is important that theorists and scientists interested in occupational injustices and occupational potential are familiar with the applicability and relevance of the LCHD model to occupation.

Potential outcomes:

Forum participants will gain a clear understanding of the LCHD model and the 7 principles it employs to synthesize existing evidence regarding the relationship between early experience and lifelong health and well-being. Occupational science can inform understanding of disparities in life course health-development, and the use of the LCHD model to inform theory and research about occupation may assist in shifting the paradigm in the practice of occupational therapy towards situations of social injustice and inequality. Outcomes of this forum include furthering collaborations among occupational scientists and researchers in public health and related disciplines, particularly as they pertain to elucidating the link between occupation and LCHD theoretical frameworks, and identifying effective strategies for optimizing experiences during the early part of the life course when health and occupational trajectories are most amenable.

Questions/Objectives for discussion:

1. How may interdisciplinary collaborations, such as those between occupational science and public health, inform development of innovative theoretical perspectives that recognize occupation as a determinant of health and well-being?

2. What are the possible applications of the Life Course Health-Developmental (LCHD) model for the study of human occupation?

3. What is the role of occupational scientists in informing understanding of how occupational injustices contribute to health disparities and inequities over the life course?

Key words: life course health-development, occupational justice, theory development