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Research Article  |   February 1991
Meaning Ascribed to Major Professional Concepts: A Comparison of Occupational Therapy Students and Practitioners in the United States and Israel
Author Affiliations
  • Noomi Katz, PhD, OTR, is Associate Professor, School of Occupational Therapy, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel
  • Dalia Sachs, PhD, OTR, is Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Education, University of Haifa, Mount Carmel, Haifa, Israel 31999
Article Information
Education of OTs and OTAs / Musculoskeletal Impairments / Research
Research Article   |   February 1991
Meaning Ascribed to Major Professional Concepts: A Comparison of Occupational Therapy Students and Practitioners in the United States and Israel
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, February 1991, Vol. 45, 137-145. doi:10.5014/ajot.45.2.137
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, February 1991, Vol. 45, 137-145. doi:10.5014/ajot.45.2.137
Abstract

A number of concepts related to human performance, such as occupation, purposeful activity, function, work, doing, and play/leisure, are widely used in occupational therapy. Because these concepts are essential to the profession, we seek to understand their meaning. Many theorists in occupational therapy define and attribute different levels of importance to each of these concepts. The present study examines the professional (student vs. practitioner) and universal (American vs. Israeli) meanings of the six concepts named above. Four statistical methods were used: (a) a multivariate analysis of variance, (b) t tests and a sign test to analyze the Osgood semantic differential, and (c) Individual Differences in Multidimensional Scaling (Carroll & Chang, 1970). The results indicate that the American occupational therapists ascribed higher affective meanings than did all of the other groups to the concepts of purposeful activity, function, doing, and work. No difference was found for occupation and hobby, which rated high for all groups. Differences in the dimensions underlying the concepts between American and Israeli subjects suggest a cultural and linguistic influence on the meaning ascribed to the concepts.