An exploration of the homeless experience from an occupational therapy perspective




Bradley, Don

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The purpose of this dissertation is to study the experience of homelessness from an occupational therapy perspective. Three studies are proposed in order to gain an increased understanding of homelessness. The three studies examined: the concepts of occupation, adaptation, roles, habits, and contexts of homelessness through a metasynthesis of the literature; the occupational participation of homeless individuals regarding their roles, habits, and contexts; and homeless individuals through an Occupational Adaptation perspective focusing on the adaptive response system.

The meta-synthesis provided details from the original research reports concerning the inclusion/exclusion of several occupational therapy concepts; and gave a synthesis for future researchers to evaluate the occupational therapy literature regarding homelessness. The results of the second study revealed that the participants had problems facilitating participation in occupation. The third study revealed a dysfunction in the occupational adaptation process of a homeless individual which resulted in his inability to respond to occupational challenges adaptively or masterfully.



Physical therapy, Health and environmental sciences, Adaptation, Homelessness, Occupational adaptation, Occupational therapy