Research Article  |   March 2013
Philip King Brown and Arequipa Sanatorium: Early Occupational Therapy as Medical and Social Experiment
Author Affiliations
  • Lilas Harley, MS, OTR, is Director of Rehabilitation, Country Villa Watsonville–East, Santa Cruz, CA. Address correspondence to 210 Elm Street, Apartment E, Santa Cruz, CA 95060; lilasharley@yahoo.com
  • Kathleen Barker Schwartz, EdD, OTR, FAOTA, is Professor Emerita, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA
Article Information
Ethics / Health and Wellness / Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability / Professional Issues
Research Article   |   March 2013
Philip King Brown and Arequipa Sanatorium: Early Occupational Therapy as Medical and Social Experiment
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March/April 2013, Vol. 67, e11-e17. doi:10.5014/ajot.2013.005199
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March/April 2013, Vol. 67, e11-e17. doi:10.5014/ajot.2013.005199
Abstract

Historical inquiry enriches occupational therapy practice by identifying enduring values and inspiring future excellence. This study presents for the first time the pioneering life and work of Philip King Brown, a San Francisco physician who used occupation to treat the physical, mental, and social effects of tuberculosis (TB) at Arequipa Sanatorium, the institution he founded in 1911. Through textual analysis of the Arequipa Sanatorium Records, this article evaluates and defends Brown’s assertion that his institution was medically and socially experimental. The Arequipa Sanatorium promoted occupational therapy by demonstrating its viability in the treatment of TB, the era’s most critical health threat. It also put into practice the ideals of holism, humanism, and occupational justice that resonate within the profession today. Finally, Arequipa provided an example of how an occupation program can change the public perception of disability.