All activities that an individual is engaged in are considered occupations. Occupational Therapy, a profession that assists individuals and their families in participating in these activities, is called Occupational Therapy. These can be either paid or unpaid, for leisure or work, or they could be mundane or meaningful. Occupational Science is the study of human participation/occupation. This area of research often focuses on particular populations, such as the elderly or children with MS, and their unique challenges in engaging in meaningful activities. Occupational scientists research methods to measure participation and develop innovative interventions to encourage participation. They also examine the effects of participation on a person’s well-being and health.
Why Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy?
Integration of diverse services to meet the needs of the population is key to the success of Canada’s healthcare system. This includes medical intervention in hospitals, but also other types of care and services that prevent illness or disease so individuals can maintain their quality of life and standard of living.
Since the 1970s, Occupational Therapists Barefoot Science have been in Canada and helped many people and families with unique challenges such as disability and impairment. Furthermore, Occupational Scientists continue to explore new technology analyst and innovative ways to provide interventions and treatments that are most beneficial to target populations. Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science are at the forefront in helping people live happier and more fulfilled lives.
Science of Everyday Living
The University of Southern California established occupational science in 1989 in order to study the effects of “occupations” on health, development and quality of life. It also provided the profession of occupational therapy with its own scientific research and scientific base to inform clinical practice. The USC Chan Archive contains historical documents that date back to the creation of occupational science. Since then, the discipline has spread beyond USC. There are now 20 academic programs for occupational science around the globe.
A multidisciplinary science
The dynamic interdisciplinarity of occupational science is also evident in other disciplines such as psychology, neuroscience and biomedical engineering. Each discipline contributes to our understanding of the diverse forces shaping human occupation, which in turn affects individuals’ and populations’ overall health.
Occupational Science Research
Occupational science research examines how people participate in daily life and the impact of these factors on their health, identity, purpose and fulfillment. The community benefits include more innovation and discovery in the health professions, cost-effective clinical interventions for occupational therapy, enhanced education for students, and better informed public healthcare consumers thanks to the mobilization and generation of scientific knowledge.