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Research Article  |   November 1991
Clinical Reasoning in Medicine Compared With Clinical Reasoning in Occupational Therapy
Author Affiliations
  • Maureen Hayes Fleming, EdD, OTR, FAOTA, is Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Tufts University–Boston School of Occupational Therapy, 26 Winthrop Street, Medford, Massachusetts 02155
Article Information
Research
Research Article   |   November 1991
Clinical Reasoning in Medicine Compared With Clinical Reasoning in Occupational Therapy
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November 1991, Vol. 45, 988-996. doi:10.5014/ajot.45.11.988
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November 1991, Vol. 45, 988-996. doi:10.5014/ajot.45.11.988
Abstract

This article highlights some observations made in the American Occupational Therapy Association/American Occupational Therapy Foundation Clinical Reasoning Study, an ethnographic study of 14 occupational therapists working in a large teaching hospital. Concepts and premises that frequently appear in the clinical reasoning in medicine literature are discussed and compared and contrasted to observations and interpretations made of the practice and reasoning strategies of the occupational therapists who were participants in the Clinical Reasoning Study. It is postulated that similarities in the reasoning strategies of the members of the two professions are a result of use of the scientific model that calls for hypothetical reasoning. Differences, it is proposed, are accounted for by the difference in the particular focus, goals, and tasks of the two professions and the nature of the practice in those arenas. Five hypotheses are proposed as questions for further research in clinical reasoning in occupational therapy.