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Research Article  |   November 1992
Interwoven Threads: Occupational Therapy, Feminism, and Holistic Health
Author Affiliations
  • Rosalie J. Miller, PhD, OTR, is Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Florida, Box 100164, JHMHC, Gainesville, Florida 32610
Article Information
Complementary/Alternative Approaches / Practice
Research Article   |   November 1992
Interwoven Threads: Occupational Therapy, Feminism, and Holistic Health
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November 1992, Vol. 46, 1013-1019. doi:10.5014/ajot.46.11.1013
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November 1992, Vol. 46, 1013-1019. doi:10.5014/ajot.46.11.1013
Abstract

Occupational therapy is a predominantly female profession; 93% to 95% of occupational therapists are women. The implications and ramifications of this reality have seldom been directly addressed. In this article, beliefs about balance, activity, environment, and autonomy are explored from the perspectives of occupational therapy, feminism, holistic health, and medicine. The assertion that occupational therapy has more in common philosophically with feminism and holistic health than it does with medicine is supported. This awareness provides a new framework for examining current issues of concern to the profession, such as support for purposeful activity, existence outside the mainstream of power holders, and problems and powers inherent in being seen as a women’s profession. Recommendations are made that occupational therapists commit more money and energy to encourage, facilitate, and support female leadership; develop innovative strategies for keeping members who take time out to raise families informed; support more holistic and feminist reorganization of work settings; instill awareness of these issues in our students; and address our strengths as a women’s profession. All occupational therapists must also confront their own anti-woman prejudice.