Occupational therapy students' choice of client activities: does patients' gender matter?

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Aim: In order to achieve a fairer system of health care, it is important that the research and education of health professionals, as well as the organisation of health care, takes into account the gender perspective. The gender order influences women's and men's lifestyles and living conditions and, through this, their health, quality of life and daily activities. The aim of the present study was to explore the perceptions of gender in occupational therapy students in their choice of activities: do students choose activities according to traditional roles?

Method: The method was a fictional case study containing 16 activities. Each student was given a copy of one of the versions of the case, Eric or Erica. The students were told to underline the three activities regarded as being of most benefit for the actual patient. Eight male and 99 female students participated.

Results: The most chosen activities were cooking, visits to cafeterias and gardening, and the least chosen were spinning, laundry and computer work. The results showed that the students made choices based on traditional gender roles.

Conclusion: Extended knowledge is needed about how gender is constructed in occupational therapy, and about whether gendered choices contribute to a prolonged period of treatment or rehabilitation, or the opposite.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4276/030802211X13074383957904

Publication date: June 1, 2011

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 2013 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 0.897.

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