Evolution of occupational therapy within the health care context

Michael Curtin, Jo Adams, Mary Egan

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter in textbook/reference bookpeer-review


The occupational therapy profession began in the early 1900s at a time when the biomedical framework of health was dominant. Although the pioneers of the profession were initially influenced by the moral treatment and arts and crafts movements, the profession became more aligned to the biomedical approach. The development of the biopsychosocial, International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health, and socioecological health frameworks all had an impact on the evolution on the occupational therapy profession. This included a move away from the biomedical way of practice, to a stronger focus on the
importance of occupation for people's health and well-being. More recently it has led to occupational therapists embracing occupation-focused strategies for working with groups, communities, populations and organisations in addition to working with individuals. The profession has moved to a stage in its evolution where it is poised to develop a secure identity, confident in its unique occupational contribution
to health.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOccupational therapy for people experiencing illness, injury or impairment
Subtitle of host publicationPromoting occupation and participation
EditorsMichael Curtin, Mary Egan, Jo Adams
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9780702054464
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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