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Research Article  |   July 1998
Uniting Practice and Theory in an Occupational Framework
Author Affiliations
  • Anne G. Fisher, ScD, OTR, is Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523-1573
Article Information
Complementary/Alternative Approaches / 1998 Eleanor Clarke Slagle Lecture
Research Article   |   July 1998
Uniting Practice and Theory in an Occupational Framework
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 1998, Vol. 52, 509-521. doi:10.5014/ajot.52.7.509
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 1998, Vol. 52, 509-521. doi:10.5014/ajot.52.7.509
Abstract

The term occupation conveys the powerful essence of our profession—enabling people to seize, take possession of, or occupy the spaces, time, and roles of their lives. Occupation is activity that is both purposeful and meaningful to the person who engages in it. Our uniqueness lies in our use of occupation as a therapeutic agent, but our unique focus on occupation is not always apparent in practice. Four global groups of activities that occupational therapy practitioners use in practice are described—exercise, contrived occupation, therapeutic occupation, and adaptive occupation. Therapeutic occupation and adaptive occupation are proposed as the legitimate activities of occupational therapy. The Occupational Therapy Intervention Process Model is then presented. This model stresses a top-down approach to evaluation and provides a framework for implementing adaptive occupation for purposes of compensation as well as therapeutic occupation for purposes of remediation.