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Can J Occup Ther. 2002 Feb;69(1):5-19.

Spirituality unplugged: a review of commonalities and contentions, and a resolution.

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  • 1School of Occupational Therapy, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS B3H 3J5.


Spirituality is an important and essential component of occupational therapy, but recent publications in occupational therapy literature also raise questions about the adequacy of the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists' definition of spirituality and the relationship of spirituality to occupational performance. Re-examination of spirituality and occupation is needed to better understand the role of occupational therapists with respect to spirituality. In this paper, the authors examine the common themes that are inherent in definitions of spirituality from diverse professional perspectives. The commonalities and contentions inherent in these definitions are then contrasted with the perspectives of occupational therapists. This discussion is followed by a challenge for re-examination of spirituality in the Canadian Model of Occupational Performance, and an argument that occupational identity rather than spirituality should have a central position. The implications of spirituality and occupational identity for evidence-based occupational therapy are considered.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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