Perspectives on Theory for the Practice of Occupational Therapy

Perspectives on Theory for the Practice of Occupational Therapy

Third Edition

Kay F. Walker and Ferol Menks Ludwig


This popular book, now in it's third edition, provides a thorough review of selected theorists whose lives and works have influenced the direction and development of clinical practice in occupational therapy. Perspectives on Theory for the Practice of Occupational Therapy assists the professional in his or her pursuit of studying existing theoretical material necessary to provide a knowledge base for the refinement of current theories and for the development of new ones. It also aids in bringing to light the clinical relevance of a theory, which is enhanced when that theory is studied in the context of the individual theorist's attempts to solve clinical problems or address professional issues encountered in his or her own career. This thorough book is a valuable resource to the professional in these important endeavours.


Chapter 1 includes a discussion of the ideas of the profession, as well as definitions of theory and its relevance to occupational therapy. This chapter is followed by the core of the book, chapters about seven theorists. Each of Chapters 2 through 8 begins with the biographical sketch of an individual theorist, providing the distinguishing backdrop from which his or her theory evolved. Following the biographical overview, each theorist chapter includes an objective review of the individual's theory and the use of that theory in occupational therapy. A description of the research and application of the theory by others reveals the impact of each theory on the profession. A new chapter has been added to overview the socio-historical contexts for occupation-based and occupation-centred theoretical background as well as contemporary theoretical development. This chapter discusses the many advances in occupation-based and occupation-centred practices occurring nationally and internationally. The final chapter, on theory analysis, explores the major themes that run through individual theories as well as the occupation-based models and occupational science.


This important and comprehensive book is valuable to therapists, students, educators, and other professionals in the field of occupational therapy. Use this book to develop a frame of reference for a clinical setting, to review theory related to a new job area, to formulate justifications for practice decisions to other professionals and third-party payers, to establish a rationale for research, or to prepare for continuing education workshops. It will help graduate students identify research questions and entry-level students formulate a professional identity. This is a book that therapists, students, and educators won't want to be without.


530 pages, 2004, softcover ISBN 0-89079-937-7

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