Advocacy in Occupational Therapy: Exploring Clinicians' Reasons and Experiences of Advocacy
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BACKGROUND: Occupational therapy literature encourages therapists to advocate, yet any member of the team could advocate with/for people with disabilities. There is a need to determine why occupational therapists provide these services and how they learn to advocate. PURPOSE: The objective of this article is to understand the meaning of advocacy for occupational therapists by exploring their reasons for advocating. METHODS: Interpretive phenomenology and the social model of disability were used to interview 13 occupational therapists about their advocacy experiences. Data analysis was completed using a Gadamerian-based approach. FINDINGS: Occupational therapists advocate for a number of reasons; some relate to themselves, some relate to clients, and others relate to both. Learning about advocacy may be understood as taking place on a continuum of time. IMPLICATIONS: The occupational therapist's unique reason for advocating is to facilitate the client's occupational performance. A new definition of advocacy is presented based on study findings.
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