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Occupational therapists perceptions of gender - A focus group study
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Division of Health, Activity and Care. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Rehabilitation Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Department of Rehabilitation, School of Health Sciences, Jönköping University, Jönköping.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1607-187X
Social Medicine, Institute of Medicine, The Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Göteborg, Sweden.
2010 (English)In: Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, ISSN 0045-0766, E-ISSN 1440-1630, Vol. 57, no 5, 331-338 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background/aim: Women and men are shaped over the courses of their lives by culture, society and human interaction according to the gender system. Cultural influences on individuals social roles and environment are described in occupational therapy literature, but not specifically from a gender perspective. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore how a sample of occupational therapists perceives the gender concept. Method: Four focus group interviews with 17 occupational therapists were conducted. The opening question was: How do you reflect on the encounter with a client depending on whether it is a man or a woman? The transcribed interviews were analysed and two main themes emerged: the concept of gender is tacit in occupational therapy and client encounters. Results: The occupational therapists expressed limited theoretical knowledge of gender. Furthermore, the occupational therapists seemed to be doing gender in their encounters with the clients. For example, in their assessment of the client, they focussed their questions on different spheres: with female clients, on the household and family; with male clients, on their paid work. Conclusions: This study demonstrated that occupational therapists were unaware of the possibility that they were doing gender in their encounters with clients. There is a need to increase occupational therapists awareness of their own behaviour of doing gender. Furthermore, there is a need to investigate whether gendered perceptions will shorten or lengthen a rehabilitation period and affect the chosen interventions, and in the end, the outcome for the clients.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Blackwell Publishing, 2010. Vol. 57, no 5, 331-338 p.
Keyword [en]
activities of daily living, culture, encounter, occupational therapy, social construction
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-60513DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1630.2010.00856.xISI: 000282221000007OAI: diva2:357042

This is the authors’ version of the following article: Gunilla Liedberg, Mathilda Björk and Gunnel Hensing, Occupational therapists perceptions of gender - A focus group study, 2010, AUSTRALIAN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY JOURNAL, (57), 5, 331-338. which has been published in final form at: Copyright: Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Available from: 2010-10-15 Created: 2010-10-15 Last updated: 2013-09-13Bibliographically approved

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