Research Article  |   May 2018
Leisure as an End, Not Just a Means, in Occupational Therapy Intervention
Author Affiliations
  • Szu-Wei Chen, MS, is PhD Candidate, Department of Occupational Therapy, New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York; szuwei.chen@nyu.edu
  • Tracy Chippendale, PhD, OTR/L, is Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York
Article Information
Advocacy / Geriatrics/Productive Aging / Health and Wellness / Professional Issues / Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability
Research Article   |   May 2018
Leisure as an End, Not Just a Means, in Occupational Therapy Intervention
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, May 2018, Vol. 72, 7204347010p1-7204347010p5. doi:10.5014/ajot.2018.028316
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, May 2018, Vol. 72, 7204347010p1-7204347010p5. doi:10.5014/ajot.2018.028316
Abstract

Leisure is commonly treated as a means instead of an end goal of intervention. This approach, influenced by history and society’s past values, does not reflect the fact that leisure is meaningful and unique to its participants and has a significant effect on their health. On the basis of the core values of the occupational therapy profession and its role in the health care system, in this article we advocate that occupational therapists should expand their focus to include leisure as a goal of intervention. Although adopting this proposed approach may not be easy, given that it involves challenges in reimbursement for services, potential competition with other health professions, and a twisting of the deep-rooted existing values of occupational therapists, we believe the proposed solutions address these concerns and shed light on how to make leisure a valued goal of intervention.