Occupation-based practices and homelessness: A scoping review.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Can J Occup Ther, Volume 84, Issue 2, p.98-110 (2017)


Art, Dancing, Diagnosis, Dual (Psychiatry), Education, Employment, Health Behavior, Health Policy, Health Services Needs and Demand, Homeless Persons, Humans, Mental Disorders, Music, Occupational Therapy, Social Skills, Sports, Substance-Related Disorders, Vocational Education


<p><b>BACKGROUND: </b>Persons experiencing or at risk of homelessness have occupational needs that are seldom addressed in the Canadian system of care. The lack of documented evidence on occupational therapy practices in this field hinders the development of the profession.</p><p><b>PURPOSE: </b>This article identifies current and potential practices that aim to enable or support the occupations of persons experiencing or at risk of homelessness.</p><p><b>METHOD: </b>A scoping review was conducted, including evidence from both occupational therapy and non-occupational therapy sources.</p><p><b>FINDINGS: </b>One hundred and seventy-eight papers were selected in the areas of occupational performance skills training, enrichment of occupational repertoire, employment/education, physical rehabilitation services, child/family services, community building, occupational transition from homeless to housed, literacy, and disaster relief.</p><p><b>IMPLICATIONS: </b>Occupational therapists can build environments and create opportunities that facilitate occupational engagement of individuals experiencing homelessness. Gaps in knowledge include the evaluation of occupational therapy practices, the Canadian context of family homelessness, and the cultural safety of occupational therapy interventions.</p>

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