Bridging the transition from homelessness: Developing an occupational therapy framework Journal Articles uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: Occupational therapists support individuals experiencing homelessness in traditional roles, and occupational therapy positions focussed specifically on homelessness appear to be growing. OBJECTIVES: To develop and refine a framework to guide occupational therapy practice and research in homelessness. METHOD: We developed a framework and refined it through a stakeholder consultation process conducted with 17 international occupational therapy experts using an online survey. In this survey, we presented an initial framework and requested qualitative feedback. We analyzed this qualitative data using content analysis. RESULTS: Stakeholder feedback was categorized into eight recommendations: (1) Revision to the 'four processes'; (2) Emphasizing social justice and systems-level advocacy; (3) Reflecting intersectionality; (4) Emphasizing meaningful activity; (5) Emphasizing peer support; (6) Incorporating a focus on independent living skills; (7) Increasing a focus on an activity for addressing substance misuse; and (8) Acknowledging cognitive and physical health. Each of these recommendations was incorporated into a refined version of this framework. These recommendations and a refined version of the framework are presented in this paper. CONCLUSIONS: We have developed and refined a framework aimed at guiding practice and research in occupational therapy in homelessness that will be evaluated in future research. SIGNIFICANCE: Though a range of frameworks exists for guiding the practice of occupational therapists more generally, this framework represents the first that is focussed specifically on guiding occupational therapy practice and research with individuals who experience homelessness. Research and practice implications are discussed.


  • Marshall, Carrie Anne
  • Cooke, Abrial
  • Gewurtz, Rebecca
  • Barbic, Skye
  • Roy, Laurence
  • Ross, Caitlin
  • Becker, Alyssa
  • Lysaght, Rosemary
  • Kirsh, Bonnie

publication date

  • October 3, 2023