Date of Award

2003

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Occupational Therapy (M.S.)

Department

Occupational Therapy

Abstract

This qualitative study examines the influence of occupational therapists’ worldview on clinical reasoning and action. Recent clinical reasoning research has determined that this complex and multi-faceted process is more than applied theory. Some scholars in occupational therapy have identified intrapersonal factors as influencing clinical reasoning. However, the nature and role of the intrapersonal factors in clinical reasoning remains unclear. To increase understanding of this phenomenon, semi-structured interviews were conducted with expert therapists. Results suggest that a therapist’s worldview, specifically related to beliefs about human nature does affect the way they envision and enact the occupational therapy process. This influence is evident as the therapists experienced a blending of personal and professional identities and beliefs in practicing occupational therapy. The initial attraction to occupational therapy, the way each therapist connected with others, the way he or she envisioned the role of occupational therapy, and the personal meaning and satisfaction that resulted from working as an occupational therapist all demonstrated this relationship. Implications for practice, education, and professional development are discussed.

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