The Job Teaches You, If You Are Open to It: The Experiences of Hospice Occupational Therapists
Hospice care--Research--United States; Bereavement
During the last 3 decades, hospice care has become increasingly prevalent in the United States, and evidence indicates that occupational therapists are involved in end of life care. There is little research, however, examining the experiences and professional development of occupational therapists in hospice care. This study used qualitative methodology (grounded theory) to explore the experiences of 4 hospice occupational therapists practicing in urban western Washington. Data analysis identified 5 major themes: Enhancing clients’ quality of life, Therapeutic use of self, Advocacy, Interdisciplinary team involvement, and Images of ideal practice. A preliminary theory of the professional development of hospice occupational therapy is proposed, consisting of 3 stages of growth, understanding, and expertise. The information gathered in this study may help occupational therapists to understand further the role of occupational therapy, advocate for increased involvement in hospice care, and gain insight on dealing with grief and loss in all areas of occupational therapy practice.
Date of Completion
Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT)
Date of Award
University of Puget Sound