Event Title

Occupational Therapists’ Perceptions When Working with Culturally Diverse Families and Their Child with a Delay or Disability

Location

Hall of Governors

Start Date

1-4-2016 1:00 PM

End Date

1-4-2016 3:00 PM

Description

As the population of the United States diversifies and census increases, being a culturally competent practitioner has become imperative in the ever-growing field of healthcare including occupational therapy. Occupational therapy has limited research on how occupational therapists perceive working with culturally diverse families and how these perceptions strengthen or limit outcomes. The study’s purpose was to recognize and understand the underlying assumptions of occupational therapists when working with culturally diverse families and their child with a delay or disability. The research design used for this study was a qualitative phenomenological study that was exploratory in nature. The interviewed participants consisted of five registered occupational therapists that currently work at the family level with Hispanic children between 12 months – 5 years old with a delay or disability. The several emerging themes discovered were: skills to overcome cultural barriers, communication as resources, awareness of culture, understanding family context, advocating child’s potential identifying home vs. school culture, looking at the environment, and remaining child-centered. The participants believe that cultural competence is gained through experience in child-centered care, family environment, and the cultural context. The Occupational Therapists reported to struggle with language barriers, the use of interpreters, and intervention carryover. The overall results found that many families value interdependence vs. independence causing a cultural clash between mainstream culture and family values. In addition, the value of self-awareness and biases play a significant role in therapeutic outcome.

Comments

Dr. Elizabeth Wanka is an Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy in the College of Health and Human Services. Ms. Jessica Ferretis, Ms. Brianne Griffin, Ms. Irene Lee, Ms. Ashley Nowak, and Ms. Jude Ondrus are graduate students in Occupational Therapy in the College of Health and Human Services.

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Apr 1st, 1:00 PM Apr 1st, 3:00 PM

Occupational Therapists’ Perceptions When Working with Culturally Diverse Families and Their Child with a Delay or Disability

Hall of Governors

As the population of the United States diversifies and census increases, being a culturally competent practitioner has become imperative in the ever-growing field of healthcare including occupational therapy. Occupational therapy has limited research on how occupational therapists perceive working with culturally diverse families and how these perceptions strengthen or limit outcomes. The study’s purpose was to recognize and understand the underlying assumptions of occupational therapists when working with culturally diverse families and their child with a delay or disability. The research design used for this study was a qualitative phenomenological study that was exploratory in nature. The interviewed participants consisted of five registered occupational therapists that currently work at the family level with Hispanic children between 12 months – 5 years old with a delay or disability. The several emerging themes discovered were: skills to overcome cultural barriers, communication as resources, awareness of culture, understanding family context, advocating child’s potential identifying home vs. school culture, looking at the environment, and remaining child-centered. The participants believe that cultural competence is gained through experience in child-centered care, family environment, and the cultural context. The Occupational Therapists reported to struggle with language barriers, the use of interpreters, and intervention carryover. The overall results found that many families value interdependence vs. independence causing a cultural clash between mainstream culture and family values. In addition, the value of self-awareness and biases play a significant role in therapeutic outcome.