Remoteness’ power: Discussing occupational therapy practice outside urban areas

Research output: Other contribution to conferencePoster


Introduction/Rationale: There are a variety of terms that have described occupational therapy practice in non-urban urban spaces, however, the terms used are often indeterminate and vague, and vary according to language and study aims and methodologies.
Objectives: We present an alternative to overcome the challenge to describing the global context and up-scaling OT practice in non-urban areas.
Method/Approach: After concluding a global scoping review on occupational therapy services in non-urban areas (results presented elsewhere) we have identified that very few articles present definition of their context. Insufficient clarity, variety of terms, and inconsistency in occupational therapy literature have required the authors to seek concepts from human geography to unify the field.
Results: Occupational therapy has several sources of underpinning knowledge, including social science, anthropology, psychology, but we have spent little time considering human geography in examining the environmental context in both health provision and ways of living. We propose that structuration theory has potential for cross context analysis of occupational therapy service in non-urban areas. Structuration considers the intersection of structures (physical, social, political, cultural), personal agency, and power and can be used to identify the influence of remoteness on health outcomes and, consequently, occupational therapy practice.
Conclusion: We suggest that a series of national analyses using structuration theory would allow international comparison of non-urban occupational therapy practice, as the theory does not rely solely on geographical terms (e.g. distance from urban centres), but also on social and power relations to define context.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2022
Event18th World Federation of Occupational Therapists Congress - Hybrid - online and Paris Convention Centre, Paris, France
Duration: 28 Aug 202231 Aug 2022 (Program)


Conference18th World Federation of Occupational Therapists Congress
Abbreviated titleOccupational R-Evolution
OtherThe International Congress is held every four years and brings together occupational therapists, assistants and students from across the globe to develop professional fellowship, exchange technical and scientific information and to promote high standards of occupational therapy practice, research and education worldwide.

The 2022 congress will feature unique social events, local tours, an extensive exhibition and programme of expert presentations on the 2022 theme “Occupational R-Evolution”.
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