Occupational science: bridging occupation and health.

Deakin University, Geelong, Australia.
Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy (Impact Factor: 0.69). 03/2005; 72(1):5-12. DOI: 10.1177/000841740507200105
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: The paper is based on a keynote address delivered at the 2004 CAOT Conference in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island Occupational therapists are widely associated with a medical model of health care in which recognition of how engagement in occupation contributes to health status is poorly understood. Occupational science as the study of people as occupational beings has the potential to increase such understanding. PURPOSE: This paper considers some aspects of the relationship between health and the occupations of older people to highlight avenues for change and the research required to support them. METHOD: The paper is structured around a simple verse of dialogue between a healthy old man and an occupational therapist. Explanation of the dialogue draws upon historical and current literature as well as occupational science research to provide a rationale for future practice based on broader concepts of occupation for health. RESULTS AND PRACTICE SUGGESTIONS: The dialogue promotes the need for discussion about health and about the health notion of Active Ageing. It highlights professional language as one impediment to change and suggests that research concerning occupation as it relates to population health is a primary requirement for the future of occupational therapy.

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