The Impact Of Communication And Cultural Differences On Occupational Therapy Practice

1491 WordsMar 16, 20156 Pages
Impact of Communication and Cultural Differences on Occupational Therapy Practice A group reflection on communication and cultural differences has been undertaken to deliberate on and examine the resulting impacts on occupational therapy (OT) practice. As such, we have collectively chosen to define culture as “…a way of life for a group (society) that is shared and learned. Culture is not confined to observable phenomena nor is it bounded or static” (Farmer et al., 2012, p. 243). It involves the collective sharing of beliefs, norms, values, and behaviours (Halloran, 2004, as cited in Farmer et al., 2012). Within the domain of culture, there exist cultural universals that transcend all human groups (e.g., language and gender roles). Conversely, the term cultural particulars has been coined to distinguish one culture from another (e.g., parental expectations of children, and beliefs about a woman’s role in the home) (Murdock, 1945). The broad and dynamic properties of culture allow for both clients and occupational therapists (OTs) to ascribe a wide variety of meanings and dimensions to occupation (Townsend & Polatajko, 2013). Given such diversity, it should not be difficult to appreciate the potential for vast differences in how both clients and OTs approach, perceive, and communicate in the therapeutic process. Provided that many of the cornerstone theories in OT culture are Western-centric (Castro, Dahlin-Ivanoff, & Martensson, 2014), it becomes imperative to ensure
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