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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(10), 13388-13398; doi:10.3390/ijerph121013388

Focusing on the Environment to Improve Youth Participation: Experiences and Perspectives of Occupational Therapists

1
School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, McGill University, 3654 Promenade Sir-William-Osler, Montreal, QC H3G 1Y5, Canada
2
CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research, McMaster University, 1400 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON L8S 1C7, Canada
3
CBI Health Group, 3300 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON M8X 2X2, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Wendy Stav
Received: 31 August 2015 / Revised: 9 October 2015 / Accepted: 19 October 2015 / Published: 23 October 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Therapies and Human Well-Being)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [677 KB, uploaded 23 October 2015]

Abstract

The environment plays a key role in supporting children’s participation and can serve as a focus of intervention. This study aimed to elicit the perceptions and experiences of occupational therapists who had applied the PREP approach—Pathways and Resources for Engagement and Participation. PREP is a novel 12-week intervention for youth with physical disabilities, aimed at improving participation in leisure community-based activities by modifying aspects of the environment. Using a qualitative post-intervention only design, 12 therapists took part in individual semi-structured interviews, in which the therapists reflected on their experience using PREP to enable participation. A thematic analysis was conducted. Four themes emerged from the data; two of which were informative in nature, describing elements of the PREP intervention that target multi-layered composition of the environment and use strategies that involve leveraging resources and problem solving. The two remaining themes were reflective in nature, illustrating a new take on the Occupational Therapy role and re-positioning the concept of participation in therapy practices. Results emphasize aspects of the environment that can serve as effective targets of intervention, guided by the PREP approach. Findings can broaden the scope and focus of occupational therapy practice by redefining views on participation and the environment. View Full-Text
Keywords: participation; leisure activities; environment barriers; intervention; childhood disability; adolescence; occupational therapy participation; leisure activities; environment barriers; intervention; childhood disability; adolescence; occupational therapy
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Anaby, D.; Law, M.; Teplicky, R.; Turner, L. Focusing on the Environment to Improve Youth Participation: Experiences and Perspectives of Occupational Therapists. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 13388-13398.

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