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Research Article  |   April 1989
Bird T. Baldwin: A Holistic Scientist in Occupational Therapy’s History
Author Affiliations
  • Susanne Wish-Baratz, MS, OTR/L, is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Anatomy, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv, Israel. (Mailing address: Shimoni 10, Neve Oz, Petach Tikva 49-215, Israel.)
Article Information
Complementary/Alternative Approaches / Military Rehabilitation / Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability / Departments / Looking Back
Research Article   |   April 1989
Bird T. Baldwin: A Holistic Scientist in Occupational Therapy’s History
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, April 1989, Vol. 43, 257-260. doi:10.5014/ajot.43.4.257
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, April 1989, Vol. 43, 257-260. doi:10.5014/ajot.43.4.257
Abstract

Holistic patient care and the scientific research method are two important aspects of occupational therapy. Bird T. Baldwin contributed to the formulation of these tenets at the beginning of this century. Baldwin, a psychologist by training, became the director of the occupational therapy department at Walter Reed General Hospital in Washington, DC, during World War I. In his department, functional rehabilitation was achieved via scientifically analyzed purposeful activities. He believed that purposeful activity was superior to exercise. Activity choice was based on physical, vocational, social, and emotional considerations. True to his scientific approach, Baldwin designed and adapted devices to provide standardized treatment protocols. Because Bird T. Baldwin’s approach to rehabilitation remains of value today, a review of his work is relevant to the occupational therapy community.