Toward the reconceptualization of the relationship between occupation and health and well-being: Vers la reconceptualisation de la relation entre l’occupation et la santé et le bien-être

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Abstract

Background.

Foundational to the occupational therapy profession is the belief that engagement in occupation is health promoting; however, this belief fails to account for occupational engagement that may be risky or illness producing. Consensus regarding the nature of the relationship between occupation and health has yet to be achieved.

Purpose.

The purpose of this study is to provide a comprehensive description of how the relationship between occupation and health and well-being is discussed within the occupational therapy and occupational science literature.

Method.

The methodological framework outlined by Arksey and O’Malley served as the basis for this scoping review of the occupational therapy and occupational science literature.

Findings.

One hundred and twelve articles were identified as meeting the criteria for inclusion. The dominant discourse portrays the relationship between occupation and health as positive.

Implications.

The broader literature suggests that occupational engagement can have both positive and negative effects on health and well-being. As such, the reconceptualization of the relationship between occupation and health and well-being is warranted to enable occupational therapists to practise in a more client-centred manner.

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