The concept of occupation is described in this framework, and occupation is characterized by the following seven key concepts:
1. Occupational form: everything that surrounds the person, consisting of a physical and sociocultural dimension.
2. Developmental structure: this includes one’s sensorimotor, cognitive, and psychosocial abilities and characteristics, developed from a long-term process influenced by maturation (genetics) and occupational adaptations (personal experience), while other influencing factors include maturation, disease, and medical interventions.
3. Meaning: interpretive experience by the person, involving perceptual interpretation, symbolic interpretation, and affect.
4. Purpose: the feeling of motive.
5. Occupational performance: the active, voluntary doing of the person, after interpreting the occupational form and having a purpose.
6. Impact: the effect of occupational performance on the person’s and others occupational forms.
7. Dynamic relationship: occupation also has a dynamic effect on the person’s own developmental structure, which is represented by an adaptation or maladaptation.
The quality of occupational performance and impact is determined by: 1) judgement by the individual and 2) in correspondence with the sociocultural norms. A therapeutic occupational synthesis and the design of a therapeutic occupational form require occupational therapists to analyze the physical and sociocultural aspects of the occupational form in terms of the client’s developmental structure. Occupational assessment involves the therapist’s observation of the client’s occupational performances and impacts in the context of synthesized occupational forms, as well as the therapist’s inferences on the client’s developmental structure and/or occupational structure. Intervention includes occupational adaptation and compensation in this conceptual framework. Occupational adaptation involves synthesis of a matching occupational form to the client’s developmental structure in order to elicit positive change in the developmental structure. Occupational compensation involves synthesis of atypical occupational form to substitute occupational performance and comparable impact.
- Macey Cho
Domain of occupation
A therapeutic occupational synthesis involves clinical reasoning as guided by occupational therapy model of practice and generated in collaboration with the client.
Nelson, D. L., & Jepson-Thomas, J. (2003). Occupational form, occupational performance, and a conceptual framework for therapeutic occupation. Perspectives in human occupation: Participation in life, 87-155.
- David Nelson