An Introduction to Occupational Science, Article Review Example

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Article Review

The main point of “An Introduction to Occupational Science, A Foundation for  Occupational Therapy in the 21st Century” is that occupational science plays an integral role in changing the practice of occupational therapy and improving the lives of consumers and the efficiency of health care institutions.  Demographic, economic, and other societal shifts require new approaches to occupational therapy that provide scientific support through research and clinical practice tools.  Occupational science uses a multidisciplinary approach to provide a scientific foundation that helps to explain the needs of entire populations when it comes to understanding the role played by occupation in health.   Thus, a greater understanding about the biological and social elements which shape our physical and emotional selves will assist occupational therapists in dealing with all aspects of the human experience.

The main point of “Occupational Science: Academic Innovation in the Service of Occupational Therapy’s Future” is that the study of occupational science requires a multidimensional approach that seeks to understand the relationship between the social and biological functions of human beings.  The USC Model of the Human Subsystems that Influence Occupation provides a framework in which to understand the complex relationship between the six subsystems that determine how occupation influences individual behavior.  This model provides the field of occupational science with a theoretical construct and conceptual boundaries that assist in underpinning the development of occupational science as a unique and distinct academic discipline.

The main point of “The Search for Useful Methodologies in Occupational Science” is that the development of occupational science as a distinct field requires the formation of unique research methodologies that address the specific needs of the discipline.  The authors offer two examples of methodological paradigms that assist to develop knowledge in occupational science by encouraging critical thinking and observational approaches which interpret results through a lens specific to occupational science.  Paradigm 1 takes a traditional approach in which objective observation of natural phenomena allows the scientist to make abstract and generalizable discoveries about human behavior.  Paradigm 2 takes a more naturalized approach by trying to understand how social situations and the social development of individuals are impacted by their own interpretations of the world around them.

The main point of the Preface to Occupational Science: The Evolving Discipline is to validate the legitimacy of occupational science as an important and independent academic discipline.  Although occupational science was originally conceived as a basic science that wasn’t concerned with issues of application, it has since come to incorporate practical therapeutic practices.  Interdisciplinary work regarding occupation provides a myriad of opportunities to develop new approaches to therapy which take into account fields such as anthropology, sociology, and biology. The evolution of occupational science provides a framework for understanding the complex relationship between human occupation and human development.  This allows researchers, academics, and practitioners to enhance their overall knowledge of hard and soft sciences to create theoretical and practical approaches which can improve the health and well-being of both individuals and societies.

Questions: 

  1. According to Yerxa et al., occupational science reflects the “complexity of occupation” (6), thus requiring an interdisciplinary approach that utilizes components of biological and social sciences. What role does social psychology play in supporting the “‘just right’ challenge” (Yerxa 9) that is one of the foundational principles of occupational science?
  2. The USC Model of the Human Subsystems “presents a view of the human that is unique to occupational science [by emphasizing] the complexity and symbolic character of occupation” (Clark et al. 303). Discuss the six characteristics of this model in relation to the academic discipline of occupational science.
  3. Discuss the manner in which Schon and Csikszentmihalyi utilize exemplary research techniques that circumvent “the primary problems associated with the mainline research traditions that they respectively favor” (Carlson & Clark 240) using methodologies which provide rigorous and creative ways in which to build our knowledge of human occupation.
  4. Given the “natural inclination on the part of occupational scientists to make inferences to therapy, thereby demonstrating that the boundaries between the basic science and its application [are] fluid” (Zemke xii), what response do the authors of the “Preface” to Occupational Science: The Evolving Discipline have to Mosey’s suggestion that occupational science should be partitioned from occupational therapy?

Multiple Choice:

Which research strategy both enhances our understanding of occupation and promotes wellness and life satisfaction by enabling therapists to make selective recommendations for patients that may result in an increased flow experience?

  1. a) Csikszentmihalyi’s Experience Sampling Method
  2. b) Schon’s Procedure for Studying Reflection in Action
  3. c) Mattingly’s Study of Narrative as a Vehicle for Guiding Clinical Practice
  4. d) None of the above-stated

References

Carlson, Michael E. & Clark, Florence A. “The Search for Useful Methodologies in Occupational Science.” The American Journal of Occupational Therapy 45:3 (1991): 235-241. Print.

Clark, Florence. A., Parham, Diane, Carlson, Michael F., Frank, Gelya, Jackson, Jeanne, Pierce, Doris, Wolfe, Robert J., & Zemke, Ruth. “Occupational Science: Academic Innovation in the Service of Occupational Therapy’s Future.” The American Journal of Occupational Therapy 45:4 (1991): 300-310. Print.

Yerxa, Elizabeth J., Clark, Florence, Frank, Gelya, Jackson, Jeanne, Parham, Diane, Pierce, Doris, Stein, Carol, & Zemke, Ruth. “An Introduction to Occupational Science, a Foundation for Occupational Therapy in the 21st Century.” Occupational Science.            Elizabeth J. Yerxa (ed). Philadelphia, PA: Haworth Press, 1990. 1-17. Print.

Zemke, Ruth & Clark, Florence (Eds). “Preface.” Occupational Science: The Evolving Discipline. Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis, 1996. vii-xvii. Print.

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