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Other  |   November 1995
Occupation: Purposefulness and Meaningfulness as Therapeutic Mechanisms
Author Affiliations
  • Catherine A. Trombly, ScD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, Sargent College of Allied Health Professions, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts 02215. This article is taken from her lecture presented at the Annual Conference of the American Occupational Therapy Association, April 1995, Denver, Colorado
Article Information
AOTA Archival Issue
Other   |   November 1995
Occupation: Purposefulness and Meaningfulness as Therapeutic Mechanisms
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November 1995, Vol. 49, 960-972. doi:10.5014/ajot.49.10.960
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November 1995, Vol. 49, 960-972. doi:10.5014/ajot.49.10.960
Abstract

The model of occupational functioning leads the author to conceptualize occupation both as treatment end goal and as means to remediate impairments. In both dimensions, meaningfulness and purposefulness are key therapeutic qualities. Purposefulness is hypothesized to organize behavior and meaningfulness to motivate performance. These aspects of occupation need explication through research. Some questions that need to be answered include the following: How does purposefulness of occupation-as-end organize a person’s life? Does purposefulness of occupation-as-means organize particular behavioral responses? What effect does meaningfulness of occupation-as-end have on achievement of role performance? Does meaningfulness of occupation-as-means motivate perseverance and effort during therapy?