Can J Occup Ther. 2021 Nov 5:84174211046797. doi: 10.1177/00084174211046797. Online ahead of print.
Background: In high-income countries, such as Canada, 50% of health outcomes are attributable to social determinants. Occupational opportunities are also structurally determined, yet these inequities are obscured by the White, Western assumptions and ableist neoliberal ideology in which the profession is deeply rooted. Purpose. To highlight the impact of structural injustices and other social determinants of health and occupation; explore the occupational therapy profession’s structural competence; and build on existing knowledge to advance an agenda for action on injustice and inequity for the occupational therapy profession. Key issues. Occupational therapy’s failure to prioritize education, research and action on systemic injustices and other social determinants of health and occupation reflects a lack of commitment to achieving the World Federation of Occupational Therapists’ Minimal Standards. Implications. If occupational therapy is to advance knowledge and practices that address inequities in the social and structural determinants of health and occupation, we must strive towards structural competence.
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