A new you: a collaborative exploration of occupational therapy's role with refugees

Nadine Blankvoort, Arslan Muzeyyen, Ani Tonoyan, Ahmad Q. Damour, Liliane Mpabanzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Theoretical works in occupational therapy and occupational science have explored the refugee experience through an occupational lens, and explored the potential for occupational therapy in this field. Currently, there exists a lack of literature which includes refugees in these explorations. Recognising the western-bias present within occupational therapy, it is important that refugees are part of a co-produced response. This article presents findings of a workshop held in the Netherlands, where four co-authors with a refugee background and one occupational therapist explored the definition of occupational therapy, the role it could have with refugees, and what is required from the profession to take on this role. Reflections suggest that occupational therapy has the potential to be a connector, matchmaker and translator, working towards societal participation. To do this, occupational therapists must critically reflect on assumptions embedded in occupational therapy, and must be aware of how structural systems influence participation of refugees.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-98
JournalWorld Federation of Occupational Therapists Bulletin
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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