Has occupation centred practice been achieved – A scoping review to locate the views of practitioners and students of occupational therapy
Introduction: Occupation-based practice engages clients in occupation as the principle therapeutic modality of change, specifically within the evaluation and intervention stage. Due to a paradigm shift over time from a mechanistic to a contemporary paradigm, it is unclear whether all occupational therapists utilise occupation in their everyday practice. This study explores both occupational therapy practitioners, and student's perceptions of occupationbased practice and tries to identify the link between theory and practice and factors associated with implementing and embracing the occupation-based practice. Method: The philosophical underpinning for the scoping review is subjectivism and interpretivism of selected literature to explore the perception of occupational therapy practitioners and students. The study included sixteen articles, and the structure for the work was based upon Arksey and O’Malley (2005). Numerical and thematic findings were generated and presented. Findings: Three key themes and supporting sub-themes were generated through thematic analysis and were (a) holding occupation at the centre of practice, (b) challenges to implement occupation-based practice, (c) contextual influence on practice. Conclusion: The findings highlighted that most practicing occupational therapists acknowledged the core principles of occupational therapy; however, they found it challenging to embrace the occupation-based practice in everyday clinical practice. Factors responsible for restricting occupation-based practice varied across the literature; however, a few common factors noted were time constraints, funding, lack of knowledge and experience. Findings also highlighted a need to enhance therapist’s and student’s knowledge of occupation-based practice through continuing professional development and modifying the university curriculum for future therapists.