Lived Experiences of Malaysian Adults with Visual Impairments: A Comparative Study Between the Kawa Model and the Canadian Model of Occupational Performance (Teoh Jou Yin)
Author: Teoh Jou Yin (Jouyin Teoh)
ABSTRACT: The lived experiences of Malaysian adults with visual impairments have not known to be widely explored, particularly from an occupational therapy point of view. In this pilot study using qualitative methods adapted from narrative inquiry, phenomenology and ethnography, two occupational therapy frameworks, the Kawa Model and the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (representative of the Canadian Model of Occupational Performance) are applied to elicit the narratives of lived experience from five (n=5) randomly selected Malaysian adults of various age, race and religious backgrounds to determine what this specific population regards as being important to them. The findings show that besides the life activities of work, education, leisure activities and community management, Malaysian adults with visual impairments also regarded self worth, being able to live life on their own terms, concerns that develop alongside typical life processes as well as social factors (social activities and social environments) as being important to them. The findings also provide a basis of comparison as to the effects of applying different frameworks can influence the focus of occupational therapy on a specific population. Each framework has their strengths and limitations and can be used complementary to one another for a more overall comprehensive approach. In order for occupational therapy to be truly relevant and applicable to a specific client population, we must consider holistically their life perspectives embedded within the context surrounding them.