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Research Article  |   January 1992
The Reconstruction Aides
Author Affiliations
  • Jaclyn Faglie Low, PhD, OTR, is Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Allied Health Sciences, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas 77550–2782
Article Information
Mental Health / Military Rehabilitation / Research
Research Article   |   January 1992
The Reconstruction Aides
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January 1992, Vol. 46, 38-43. doi:10.5014/ajot.46.1.38
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January 1992, Vol. 46, 38-43. doi:10.5014/ajot.46.1.38
Abstract

The reconstruction aides, civilian women who served in World War I, are credited with an influential role in the development of occupational therapy. Their task was to provide treatment in the form of occupation to enable servicemen suffering from wounds or battle neurosis to return to the battlefront. Although some occupational therapy aides were occupational therapists, many were teachers, artists, and craftspersons. This paper traces the history of the reconstruction aides, describes the women who served, and recounts their experiences. The relationships between reconstruction aides and other professions suggest the origins of current problems of professional identity and role delineation.