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Research Article  |   January 2004
Developing and Evaluating Community-Based Services Through Participatory Action Research: Two Case Examples
Author Affiliations
  • Renée R. Taylor, PhD, is Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy (MC 811), College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1919 West Taylor Street, 3rd Floor, Chicago, Illinois 60612-7250; rtaylor@uic.edu
  • Brent Braveman, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
  • Joy Hammel, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
Article Information
Musculoskeletal Impairments / Neurologic Conditions / Center for Outcomes Research and Education
Research Article   |   January 2004
Developing and Evaluating Community-Based Services Through Participatory Action Research: Two Case Examples
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January/February 2004, Vol. 58, 73-82. doi:10.5014/ajot.58.1.73
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January/February 2004, Vol. 58, 73-82. doi:10.5014/ajot.58.1.73
Abstract

Occupational therapy has a strong history of embracing concepts of client empowerment. However there is limited literature in the field on how to achieve empowerment, or on how to extend empowerment to the level of the community and social groups and services within it. This article discusses how concepts and strategies of participatory action research, an extension of empowerment theory, can be used to inform service development and evaluation in occupational therapy. The participatory action research approach is illustrated using two case examples of participatory action research programs for persons with chronic fatigue syndrome and individuals with autoimmune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). A critical analysis of the application of this approach to research and practice is provided. Finally, the paper identifies key principles of participatory action research that can be used to guide occupational therapy services and empower both individuals and communities.