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Research Article  |   March 2003
Personal–Professional Connections in Palliative Care Occupational Therapy
Author Affiliations
  • Catherine Prochnau, MSc, BScOT, is Sessional Instructor, Department of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta, 2–64 Corbett Hall, University of Alberta Campus, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T5G 2G4; pcproc@telusplanet.net
  • Lili Liu, PhD, MSc, BScOT, is Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • Jeanette Boman, PhD, BScN, is Associate Professor, Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Article Information
Palliative Care
Research Article   |   March 2003
Personal–Professional Connections in Palliative Care Occupational Therapy
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March/April 2003, Vol. 57, 196-204. doi:10.5014/ajot.57.2.196
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March/April 2003, Vol. 57, 196-204. doi:10.5014/ajot.57.2.196
Abstract

This qualitative study examined the experiences of occupational therapists working in palliative care. Multiple qualitative interviews were conducted with each of eight occupational therapists working with people who are terminally ill. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed for recurring and unique themes. Five themes emerged: satisfaction, hardship, coping, spirituality, and growth. Common themes, while resonating through all participants’ stories, were experienced in a uniquely personal way by each participant. The result was the discovery of an individualized “personal–professional connection” for each participant. The exploration of personal–professional connections can contribute to the understanding of occupational therapy practice in palliative care. Furthermore, these individual stories may resonate for other occupational therapists and inspire personal and professional reflection; validation of feelings and issues can arise from parallel comparisons. Therapists may in turn gain insight into the relationship between their own personal and professional experiences.