Occupational therapy has evolved significantly since its inception, and has undergone several paradigm shifts, which have induced changes both for clients and for therapists themselves. This article examines the evolution of the meaningfulness of work for occupational therapists who work in post-acute rehabilitation, and who have switched to an occupation-based, person-centered practice.
A qualitative study was conducted, based on the thematic analysis of nine semi-structured interviews involving occupational therapists who had experienced an evolution of their practice in post-acute rehabilitation. Results show that the meaningfulness of work is improved, through better perceived performance and self-concordance. Moreover, the meaningfulness for occupational therapists appears to be strongly correlated with the meaningfulness of therapy for patients.
Implications are discussed, regarding the importance of professional reflexivity, as well as the relevance of occupational science to study the meaningfulness of work.
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