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Other  |   March 1995
Influence of the U.S. Military and Occupational Therapy Reconstruction Aides in World War I on the Development of Occupational Therapy
Author Affiliations
  • Sharon A. Gutman, OTR/L, is Teaching Fellow and Occupational Therapist, New York University, Department of Occupational Therapy, 35 West 4th Street, 11th Floor, New York, New York 10012
Article Information
Military Rehabilitation / Departments / Looking Back
Other   |   March 1995
Influence of the U.S. Military and Occupational Therapy Reconstruction Aides in World War I on the Development of Occupational Therapy
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March 1995, Vol. 49, 256-262. doi:10.5014/ajot.49.3.256
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March 1995, Vol. 49, 256-262. doi:10.5014/ajot.49.3.256
Abstract

The development of occupational therapy was heavily influenced by an early evolved relationship between orthopedists and reconstruction aides during the first World War. Orthopedists were largely responsible for both the presence of occupational therapy in the war and the eventual acceptance (by army personnel) of women fulfilling this military function. As a result of gender issues of that time – characterized by a dearth of employment opportunities for women and by a general resistance to women in military roles – this affiliation with orthopedists in World War I served to promote occupational therapy within the military environment. This affiliation also marked an early Willingness by occupational therapists to accept the medical model as one guide for clinical practice.