Occupational Science: the Key to Broadening Horizons

Author: Wilcock, Ann A.

Source: The British Journal of Occupational Therapy, Volume 64, Number 8, 1 August 2001 , pp. 412-417(6)

Publisher: College of Occupational Therapists

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In this paper, I will consider occupational science as a key to broadening horizons in occupational therapy. I start by clarifying and defining what occupational science is, and discuss the benefits that rigorous study of humans as occupational beings may bring to occupational therapy. I suggest that adopting occupational science will assist occupational therapists to think in occupational rather than medical terms. This alone would extend the profession's domain of concern considerably, because it becomes clear that it is not only the people with disorder of body or mind who are occupationally handicapped. Humans have 'occupational needs' which are related to maintaining health, and many health outcomes, either good or bad, can be traced back to basic occupational determinants that people have created over time. Our twentieth century founders recognised that we needed such a science and, even earlier, social philosophers wrote of its importance. If occupational therapists work as agents of change according to a sound knowledge base built upon the unique aspect of life and health which is their domain, they will be able to respond and develop according to rapidly changing economies and values. This keynote address was given on 4 July 2001 at the 25th Annual Conference of the College of Occupational Therapists, held at the University of Wales, Swansea.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2001

More about this publication?
  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at http://www.cot.co.uk/british-journal-bjot/british-journal-occupational-therapy

    Submissions can be made at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/bjot

    The 2012 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 1.096.

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