The cultural brokerage work of occupational therapists in providing culturally sensitive care Academic Article uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: The important place of culture within occupational therapy is widely recognized, and there is increasing emphasis on addressing the diversity of clients. PURPOSE: This study explores how occupational therapists perform cultural brokerage when providing culturally sensitive care to immigrant families. METHOD: A descriptive qualitative methodology was used for this study. A purposive sample of 17 occupational therapists from two Canadian paediatric rehabilitation centres were interviewed. FINDINGS: Participants encountered several cultural and structural constraints in providing culturally sensitive care. To overcome these constraints, clinicians used four strategies: (a) translating between health systems for clients, (b) bridging different meanings of occupational therapy to make it relevant for clients, (c) establishing long-term relationships by building trust and rapport, and (d) working with clients' relational networks to help them navigate the health system. IMPLICATIONS: Occupational therapists should advocate for both the individual needs of immigrant families and for institutional level resources to better meet the needs of diverse clients.


  • Lindsay, Sally
  • Tétrault, Sylvie
  • Desmaris, Chantal
  • King, Gillian
  • Piérart, Gènevive

publication date

  • April 2014