Myth or reality? How do occupational therapists address the spirituality of children with physical disabilities?

Harrison, Liz ORCID logo ORCID: and Cox, Diane ORCID logo ORCID: (2017) Myth or reality? How do occupational therapists address the spirituality of children with physical disabilities? British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 80 (S8). pp. 40-41.

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The founders of the profession of occupational therapy (OT) proposed one of the profession’s values to be the belief in the importance to health and wellbeing of a balance between mind, body and spirit (Meyer, 1922/1977). Since that time it has been acknowledged that spirituality does have a place as a legitimate concern of occupational therapy; however, its place in practice continues to be debated and researched but often poorly understood. Research in relation to children’s spirituality, within occupational therapy, is particularly sparse, which led to an interest in determining how this poorly understood aspect of occupational therapy theory was used in practice. A qualitative design utilising Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (Smith, Flowers & Larkin 2009) was used to determine the views, through workshops and one-to-one semi-structured interviews, of occupational therapy practitioners and academics within the UK as to the role of spirituality when working with children with physical disabilities. This presentation will discuss the findings of the research which reveal interesting insights into the way spirituality is embedded in our practice, to the benefit of the children we work with. The importance of the child-centred relationship and the contribution of occupational therapists in developing a child’s identity are highlighted. The theory developing from this research will hopefully contribute in enabling practitioners to understand and have confidence in this element of their practice.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: British Journal of Occupational Therapy
Publisher: SAGE Publications / College of Occupational Therapists
ISSN: 1477-6006
Departments: Academic Departments > Health, Psychology & Social Studies (HPSS) > Rehabilitation
Professional Services > Research Office & Graduate School (ROGS)
Additional Information: Abstract from Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) Annual Conference, Birmingham, 19-20 June 2017 (session abstract: S58.2).
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2017 14:46
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024 18:15


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