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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 52  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 144-150

Exploring spirituality and its use as a domain of practice among Indian occupational therapists: A qualitative study

1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Goa Medical College, Bambolim, Goa, India
2 Jaipur Occupational Therapy College, Maharaj Vinayak Global University, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

Correspondence Address:
Pooja Vivek Vajaratkar
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Goa Medical College, Bambolim - 403 202, Goa
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijoth.ijoth_32_20

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Background: Most occupational therapy (OT) practitioners recognize that it is important to integrate client's personal beliefs, values, and spirituality into OT practice. However, ambiguity and diverse practice notions have an impact on the use of spirituality in day-to-day life. Thus, the purpose of the study is to bridge this gap by exploring spirituality as a domain of practice in OT among Indian OTs. Objectives: The objectives of this study were to explore and understand spirituality and its use as a domain of practice among Indian OTs. Study Design: A qualitative narrative study design was chosen for this research. Methods: Fifteen participants (n = 15) who are expert in the field of OT with major inclusion criteria of minimal 10 years' experience were recruited for this study using nonprobability convenient and snowball sampling method. The study was conducted with OTs working in private and public sectors in India. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with senior OTs to explore their knowledge and understanding of spirituality as a domain of OT practice from an Indian perspective. Results: Three major themes emerged from this study were as follows: (1) understanding of spirituality, (2) differences in understanding the meaning of spirituality, and (3) importance of the use of spirituality as a domain of practice in OT. Conclusion: Overall, this study is a first step in understanding the complexity of spiritual considerations in day-to-day practice in Indian context. This study found that there is limited understanding of spirituality among Indian OTs. Lack of clarity in this area found difficult for the Indian OTs to differentiate spirituality from religion. This study also gave insight into how OTs use spirituality as a domain of practice in India. Based on this study, we suggest that there is an upmost need to develop guidelines on practicing spirituality in OT practice by generating further discussion and evidence on this subject.

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