Describing the occupational nature of practice: A scoping review

Scand J Occup Ther. 2021 Aug 29:1-10. doi: 10.1080/11038128.2021.1968949. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Describing how occupation is used in practice can be challenging for occupational therapists. Occupation-centred, occupation-based, and occupation-focussed terminology are frequently used interchangeably and ambiguously to describe practice. However, ambiguous language creates confusion and inadequately demonstrates the value of occupation.

AIMS/OBJECTIVES: This scoping review aimed to identify how occupation-centred, occupation-based, and occupation-focussed terminology are defined and represented in occupational therapy literature.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A five-step scoping review included papers published between 2014 and 2019 from four databases. Extracted data were summarised to outline how the terms were being used within the literature.

RESULTS: Initial searching yielded 819 articles and 35 papers met inclusion/exclusion criteria. Within current literature, occupation-focussed and occupation-based terminology were inconsistently described. A limited number of articles used occupation-centred and occupation-focussed terminology to describe practice, whilst occupation-based was more prominent. Occupation-based terminology was represented in numerous ways to describe assessments, practice tools, interventions, research, and theory. Discrepancies between the description and implementation of occupation-based practice were most prominent within interventions.

CONCLUSION AND SIGNIFICANCE: Findings demonstrated that occupation-based and occupation-focussed terminology were used interchangeably and inconsistently in literature. It is timely to consider how this is problematic for our professional identity and perceptions of occupation in practice.

PMID:34455894 | DOI:10.1080/11038128.2021.1968949

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